A series of important event have been happening at the end of the year in the EU-US gambling debate :
US has agreed with EU that it will pay a compensation rather than allow European online gaming companies into the American gambling sector.
This doesn’t solve the US problem with Antigua
But US has also conceded to the EU to allow European companies access to the US postal market and warehouse sector instead.
EU gambling companies accuse US of infringing the WTO rules.
Washington said it never intended to allow foreign companies to offer online gambling and made a mistake by not explicitly saying so as part of the 1994 world trade deal.
“We have been left with no choice but to pursue all legal avenues available to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice for its discriminatory enforcement activities against European online gaming operators,” Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), said in a statement. So RGA has filed a formal complaint against the Department of Justice.
And on top of that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo settled with the Justice Department over claims they promoted illegal gambling by accepting ads from online betting operations.
What a world !
According with an interesting article in Liberation, France has already started considering how it will change its national gambling laws in order to comply with the obligations required by the European Commission.
According with new info France has until October 29 to act. But France refuses the principle of mutual recognition, which allows a company recognized by a European Convention country to propose its services everywhere within the European Union.
The PMU, French horse betting monopoly, whose sales turnover rose in 2006 to 8,1 billion euros, including 327,6 million euros (4%) for the only bets online, reverse part of its benefit to the horse die, which represents 62.000 direct employment.
For the sociologist specialist in the gambling Jean-Pierre Martignoni-Hutina, it is about a â€œpositive evolutionâ€ of the French doctrines. It wishes nevertheless that this â€œmodernization of the economy of the playsâ€ is accompanied by the creation of a new authority of regulation
This is the new deadline, extended by 2 months, given by the European Commission to France and Greece for a corelation of their laws with the EU principle of free movement of services within the European Union.
Otherwise, a complaint in front the European Court of Justice will be started, as confirmed by Oliver Drewes, a spokesman for the executive’s Internal Market Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy.Â He added that the situation in France had altered since a favourable court ruling in July which overturned a ruling that banned a Maltese firm, Zeturf, from offering online horse race betting in France.
This has increased pressure on France to end its state gaming monopoly, until now only native providers FranÃ§aise des Jeux (a multi game operator) and PMU (the French tote) are permitted to advertise their services over the Internet.
The ban of the unibet.com cycling team in some competitions is Italy, Belgium and Spain because the had the main sponsor an online betting company in Malta the triggered the European Commission anger that thretaned these countries with legal actions.
â€œThe Commission understands that the Green Cycle Associates cycling team, a Swedish company, has been refused entry to two races in the Belgian UCI,â€ a letter obtained by Reuters said.
According to The Guardian, EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy had earlier warned France over the same issue, and a Commission official told Reuters that Brussels would step up legal action against the French government in June over its enforcement of anti-betting laws governing cycling and all other sports.”There is clear evidence that France has breached EU internal market rules, following an analysis of the situation“, said the official,
“Sport clubs throughout Europe… are facing unfair sponsorship restrictions and also missing significant competition opportunities,” Konstantinos Maragkakis, spokesman for the European Gaming and Betting Association said.
Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the Giro D’Italia winner odds at Gamebookers
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has pulled out from the discussions with the online gambling company 888 regarding a possible merger, invoking the UIGEA law in Unite States had made the things too complicated these days.
The deal was supposed to be reached for an impressive 450 millions pounds, but the changes in the US gambling legislation have droped 888 poker revenues to half. In this situation Ladbrokes considered that the complexity of the US situation was simply too much for such a deal.
Shares of both companies have droped after the annoucement. Shares in 888 fell 4Â¾ to 117Â¾p and Ladbrokes firmed 1Â½ to 405p.