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European gambling industry makes a fist - demands $100 billion

Posted on Wednesday, September 26 2007 @ 19:43:52 CEST by

European online gaming companies have urged the European Union to demand as much as $100 billion in compensation from the U.S. because of the ban on online gambling :
The tiny Caribbean island of Antigua, which built up an online gambling industry before the U.S. ban, successfully challenged U.S. online betting restrictions at the World Trade Organisation and the United States lost its appeal this year.

Now Antigua, the EU and other countries are trying to negotiate compensation deals with Washington.

The United States is offering concessions in other areas of trade to offset the online gambling restrictions.

Lawyers for European online gaming firms -- which are among the biggest in the world -- said the EU should press for as much as $100 billion in compensation, given the plunge in the market value of listed firms when Washington shut off the world's biggest market last year and the value of business lost since then.

The move wiped $7 billion off the value of the industry, which includes PartyGaming, Bwin, Sporting Bet and 888.com.

"One major question is how strong the EU will be in pushing the U.S. for all the concessions available to it," said Craig Pouncey, a trade lawyer with law firm Herbert Smith.

Antigua wants compensation of $3.4 billion -- a figure the United States says is far too high -- and the EU should demand at least 20 or 30 times that amount given the size of its online gaming industry, said Raul Herrera from law firm Arnold & Porter.
Source: Reuters



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