EU launches probe into U.S. online gaming measures - Cool New Gadgets and Gizmos Blog
Online gaming demoThe European Union launched an investigation on Monday into whether U.S. measures on foreign online gambling companies break international rules, possibly paving the way for World Trade Organisation action.

European online gaming companies, such as PartyGaming and bwin Interactive Entertainment, complained in December that the U.S. Justice Department was singling out foreign online gambling companies for prosecution.

"The U.S. 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," EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a statement.

"We are interested in a constructive and mutually satisfactory solution to this issue."

The Commission said it would look into the complaints over the next five to seven months and could decide to launch WTO proceedings against the United States if warranted.

Separately, the Commission agreed in December to an offer from the United States of openings in other sectors as compensation for closing U.S. gambling market to foreign firms.

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