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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 12:47 GMT
US makes EU offer on gambling ban
Playing card and betting chips
Antigua and Barbuda is demanding sanctions against the US
The EU says the US is to offer trade concessions as compensation for its refusal to lift internet gambling laws.

Laws passed in the US in October 2006 effectively made it illegal for foreign internet gaming firms to trade there.

In March the World Trade Organization (WTO) delivered a final ruling saying that the US ban was illegal.

The concessions, which relate to mail and storage services among others, will affect how Germany's DHL competes with US-based firms Fedex and UPS.

The proposed deal also includes new US market opportunities for European firms offering testing and analysis services, as well as in research and development.

EU officials did not say how much the deal was worth.

Payments stopped

"While the US is free to decide how to best respond to legitimate public policy concerns relating to Internet gambling, discrimination against EU or other foreign companies should be avoided," said Peter Power, spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Last year the US stopped US banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country, effectively killing off the market for overseas gambling firms.

About half of the world's online gamblers are based in the US, and the market is estimated to be worth $15.5bn (7.7bn).

The WTO ruling said the US was breaking trade law by targeting online gambling firms, without equal application of the rules to US firms offering online betting on horse and dog racing.

Meanwhile, a WTO decision is expected to rule in the coming weeks on a request by Antigua and Barbuda to impose $3.4bn in commercial sanctions against the US.



SEE ALSO
Antigua hits back at US on gaming
21 Jun 07 |  Business
Sportingbet warrants cancelled
21 Mar 07 |  Business
WTO rules against US gaming ban
30 Mar 07 |  Business
US law hits Partygaming profits
01 Mar 07 |  Business
Gaming firms plan for US upheaval
13 Oct 06 |  Business
World Gaming on hold after US ban
09 Oct 06 |  Business
US gaming ban hits UK firms most
02 Oct 06 |  Business

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