E.U. wants U.S. to pay up over lost profits from gambling

By Justin Mann on June 21, 2007, 11:21 AM
Here's an interesting one. The rather draconian restrictions that the U.S. places on Internet gambling (all in the name of protecting citizens) has been a bone of contention for many people wanting to gamble online. For the most part, online gambling in the U.S. is outright banned. Apparently, this is also a bother for the European Union, who wants compensation from the U.S. for foerign profits lost due to the ban. Primarily, the E.U. is irked that the ban is one way: people overseas can still place bets in the U.S., to a degree.

The issue here isn't the type of money exchange, but rather than it isn't “fair” all the way around. It's claimed that the U.S. should come into compliance with the WTO. Because of this, they want compensation:

Sandman said that the United States must address the "hypocrisy in the way it treats Internet gambling," which allows people to bet on horses but not poker, pinochle, or other activities. He said the government must do one of two things: The United States must pay billions in trade compensation to other countries for not complying with WTO trade agreements, which will affect U.S. industries with no involvement in gambling.
The other option, Sandman claims, is for policy to change – which would require government regulation. While this is certainly a bit of a stretch to say, it does make one think if this same reasoning could be applied to other online content. Say, for instance, a country banned its residents from playing a particular MMORPG. Could the company or country hosting said game actually go and demand lost profits?

It's an interesting situation. Of course, a ban doesn't mean that people will stop. Perhaps the argument about lost profits is moot.

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