EU Might Contend New US Gambling Legislation

It’s evident that the U.S has no problem whatsoever to intercede and potentially impact on international trade laws. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 speaks for itself, its sole aim it to prohibit internet gambling in the U.S.

Of late the US is trying to regulate and reinstate internet gambling again in addition to land-based casinos. Senator Harry Reid has pushed for the legalization and control of internet gambling in the U.S in the hope that lawmakers would annul the UIGEA. Reid believes that billions of dollars of potential revenue is lost and it could be utilised for local infrastructure and various other modes of development in the country.

Unfortunately “The bill” will come with a hefty price tag.  Various countries within the European Union (EU) are attempting to regulate gambling online and to ensure that the necessary licenses are issued to various operators. This might not bode well for online gambling sites from the U.S attempting to enter the EU; since the European Court of Justice (EOJ) has been called upon to impose legislation that would keep out overseas based sites trying to set up offices in Europe.

This has successfully been contended by Portugal when it decided in 2009 to outlaw internet gambling, lawmakers in the country argued that this would lead to an increase in white colour crimes and impact negatively on the country’s strong moral values. The European Court has backed Portugal on this one.  The next country in line to prohibit internet gambling is Cyprus.

Countries such as Italy, France and Spain have encouraged foreign based operators to set up offices within their borders, although local legislation imposed by these countries have not always been conducive to foreign based gambling vendors especially France.  The European Court of Justice will attempt to ensure that foreign based gambling sites adhere to strict gambling regulations within the European Union market.

As it stands Cyprus and Portugal wants to ban internet gambling in its entirety, internet casinos operating in these countries will be in direct contravention of the law should they continue to run internet gambling sites. Monopolies held by internet casinos in other European countries have been accepted by the European court on condition it remains local and it keeps out foreign based sites.

Senator Harry Reid is in support of legislation that calls for the regulation of internet gambling sites on condition it is taxed; however, foreign based internet gambling sites would be prohibited from offering their services to U.S players. Should the U.S push ahead with this new legislation it would be violating international trade laws.

New Jersey senators have issued an internet gambling bill that raised the same questions promulgated by Reid’s proposals. Internet gambling would only be allowed to citizens in New Jersey and foreign based sites would be kept out.



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