Concerned with the effects it is having upon European companies, the European Commission has begun a probe into United States regulations that prevent European gambling companies from providing their services to the American consumers, most notably the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, whose restrictions on online gambling have caused many European companies to withdraw from the American market.
The RGA lists as members thirty different companies with connections to online gambling, with severalbig names such as Partygaming, PlayTech, and Microgaming. These companies have been suffering from the restriction that prevent them from operating in the U.S. market and hope that the European Commission will support them in their efforts to gain reentry into the U.S. market.
The main issue that the European Commission is probing is whether or not the U.S. regulations are fair to all parties or if they are unfairly discriminating against European companies while allowing American companies more opportunities. When speaking on this matter, the European Union’s Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson said, “The US has the right to address legitimate public policy concerns relating to internet gambling, but discrimination against EU companies cannot be part of the policy mix.”
The European Union’s probe will take approximately half a year to complete, but the concluding report could have widespread effects upon both the EU and the U.S., as if the report determines that the U.S. regulations are discriminatory, the World Trade Organization would feel compelled to take action against the United States.