back to article EU begins formal probe into US gambling ban

The European Commission is launching a formal investigation into the US ban on online gambling. The Commission has sent a list of questions to US officials aimed at finding out if the US policy is discriminatory against European firms or not, according to Inside Trade. The US banned online gambling in 2006 using legislation …


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  1. StopthePropaganda
    Thumb Down

    next up: EU b*tches about prostitution ban

    In the guise of free trade arguments, EU officials launch an official complaint that other illegal and immoral activities aren't allowed either. EU officials also demand that America allow in the free trade of dangerous illicit substances out of Holland and in human slaves as demanded by interests friendly to Middle Eastern royalty. The American ban in trade of human organs for profit next to receive EU's wrath.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Show them how the world works....

    As a Canadian who has watched the US fight for years to prevent our lumber industry from getting a fair deal in spite of NAFTA and WTO rulings in our favour...

    I really don't give a rat's patoot about gambling organizations but this is just another unsurprising example of American protectionism. If you follow online comments, the average American response to trade issues (e.g. MS vs. EU) is 'let's stop selling to/buying from those foreign bastidges and show them what for...' so maybe it is time to stop selling to/buying from those American bastidges and realy show them what for...

    (The Jolly Roger because pirates come in many forms and for the jolly rogering they deserve.)

  3. Fibbles

    re: next up: EU b*tches about prostitution ban

    It's clear the US doesn't view gambling as immoral since it permits state lotteries, horse racing and casinos. This whole dispute hinges on the fact that the US is quite prepared to allow gambling so long as it isn't run by foreign companies.

    Please read the article next time before you start foaming at the mouth and make such nonsense filled comments.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    at: StopthePropaganda

    Glad to see some US sympathiser showing their lack of knowledge in this matter. The US pushed through the services treaty through the WTO, which permits exclusions on moral grounds. However, in order to qualify for an exclusion on moral grounds you must also not allow local firms to trade in that service. The idea is to prevent protectionism, if something can be legally traded internally in a country, you also have to allow it to be traded internationally. Within at least parts of the US it is perfectly legal to gamble, by allowing internal firms to support gambling, but excluding external firms, the US is breaking the treaty it steamrollered through (primarily because it helps big US IT and Consultancy firms). I would be quite happy for the US to ban all gambling, but if it allows its own firms to provide gambling services, it is required by the treaty to allow overseas firms to provide the same services.

    If the US wants to break the treaty, then it should expect similar reciprocal action from the EU in preventing the US services industry from selling IT and consulting services in the EU, despite allowing EU services to freely trade.

    Next time, understand the issues before you post polemic that is patently untrue.

  5. Matt


    Your argument might carry some weight if the US didn't allow gambling internally. he just don't want any competition.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet...

    wait, no.

  7. Marc

    Reading comprehension

    Apparently the education system in the UK sucks as bad as it does in the US since you folks are completely lacking in reading comprehension.

    So let me spell it out for you: the US bans ALL *online* gambling. It's not like we can do online gambling with US companies. We cannot. We can go to Vegas and throw our life savings away but it's not ONLINE. There's nothing stopping a EU based company from opening a casino in Vegas. Be my fucking guest. So cut the protectionist bullshit. You have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

  8. Eduard Coli
    Paris Hilton

    @Matt and some coward

    Back in 1994 WTO market opening commitments that should have exempted online gambling were not made by the US but are to some degree part of all members commitments.

    Technically it is correct but if the EU wants to sanction the US over something many EU countries already had exempted then the US should push for debts dating back to WWII be called in. I'm sure the former is much less than the latter.

    I think Denmark wanted to try to pay there's off but with adjusted dollars and inflation would have broke the treasury in doing so.

    what's often not mentioned in articles about the dispute here is that Antigua wasa major source of credit card fraud which was related to offshore gambling and is probably what attracted the attention of Congress.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Competiton lol

    Its all about squeezing the little man to make the rich richer in the US. It has nothing to do with "competition" or morality. Internet Gambling is generating no tax revenue for the US. Lotteries and Casinos are tied into the tax revenue structures, overseas internet gambling is letting the average guy escape paying taxes....

    Do you think Haliburton works for free? All those bombs and drones cost money! Only the rich are allowed to avoid paying taxes and get government welfare checks at the same time.

    Ask Paris, she already knows!

  10. Mark

    Re: Reading comprehension

    Nope, you can place bets on the horses online. In the US it's crossing state lines and using the telecoms system that makes it illegal, and since the telecomms is both the POTS/ voice service (phone your bookie) and the broad/narrowband internet access, this is covered in the same laws. These are the laws which the BetOnSports EX executives (they didn't work for the company when arrested, and they weren't going to the US, either) were taken into custody over and is the ones that horse betting and lottery (as long as it's from a US company) are allowed in by.

    You need to read more.

    PS "foreign bastidges" comment: That's right, the faragin corksuckers!!! (Johnny Dangerously FTW!)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    re: Reading comprehension , By Marc

    So - let me ask you this.

    A slot machine is often an x86 based computer, or cut-down derivative.

    It's software is always managed by a company in the same State? No.

    Is it's 100% managed from within the US? No.

    The outcome of gambling within an electronic device within the US is therefore a busted-flush as far as "online" is concerned. It's a gambling device with operational connections outside of the State it's based.

    Go back to every single gambling device being 100% mechanical then start throwing stones about "online". "Online" is such a fuzzy definition now as only to be relevant to repressive regimes like China and... yeah, the "free-est nation on Earth". Buy a lottery ticket in your local store (if the local State allows it), and it's purchase is registered "online" within seconds. Well, bugger me - that's online gambling.

    Oh, and - as it's a "moral" issue, remove every US company and subsidiary involved in supplying the non-US gambling industry from trading outside of the US. Diebold? Feel free to remove their shite from my democratic process.

    Be my fucking guest, as you most eloquently put it.


  12. Charlie

    @ Marc

    "Apparently the education system in the UK sucks as bad as it does in the US since you folks are completely lacking in reading comprehension."

    Try your reading comprehension skills on this link

    as it is clear that the US is *not* banning all domestic online gambling.

  13. Hate2Register

    I bet the US lose!

    Of course the US will lose. Nobody beats Europe. We (and our friends in Canada, Asia, Africa and South America), RULE the world.

    Of course we could pretend that you've beaten us. That would be slightly fun. Slightly.

  14. chris

    'Some kinds of gambling are allowed'

    Er all kinds are allowed on reservation land, or places such as Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, etc., etc..

    Maybe protectionism was part of this??? Nah, couldn't be...

  15. StarsAndStripesForever

    EU needs a ball check

    One dirty bomb left by Al Queda in Brussels and the jealous Euronuts will come crying for help to Washington again.

    The Frenchies will throw up the white flag, the Brits with throw out that socialist Brown and get a real man with balls like Margaret Thatcher and the Germans will tell the EU where they can go!


  16. Scott


    You let us import IT goods with no tariffs we let you bamboozle our citizens out of their cash online.

    Well played!

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Oh dear.

    I see the tribal xenophobes are out in force today.

    The thing that puzzles me is, how you manage to use the keyboard with those knuckles.

  18. Dave Bell

    Not an easy problem.

    Personally, I think the UK has made access to gambling too easy, whether it's after-midnight Roulette on TV or the online stuff.

    But, as with a lot of other stuff, the internet tends to erase borders. At least you can still follow the money on this. And once an American politician sees money, say goodbye to honesty.

  19. Jason Rush

    Easy Fix

    As US Law States, you can gamble in any state provideing that state allow's it! Indian Reservations are a Sovereign within the boundreies of the US thus with state approval they can gamble on there land, with that said IF you live in a location where gambling is allowed then you theorectically could gamble online, if you do not live in one of those locations then you cannot, IE the gambling is taking place in a location where its not allowed, it has nothing to do with where the money is located, where the server is located or anything of such, it is based on the person whom is making the bet. the US will just change the law to allow US compaines to run servers from there casino's if it become and issue as stated above, though this would do not good as whos going to sit in there hotel room and gamble on the computer when they could just go downstairs to the casino floor! so US compaines would probly get a lot of the business and taxes would still be paid.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Eduard Coli

    The UK has paid back it's debt from WW2. As an American I think your on thin ice there anyway..........

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Because her Bush allows free trade

  22. ugly_american

    the motivation doesn't matter

    IMO the motivation doesn't matter in this case as much as the result. The online gambling industry is rife with corruption and sleazeballs. The up to 20% of gamblers who are compulsive are like monkeys on crack when they caan sit at a machine in a dark room and gamble away their future. That includes both U.S. and EU citizens. This industry is insidious and should be banned everywhere. It is much more dangerous than land based gambling as it is much easier to do in secret. I applaud the decision and hope it keeps a lot of people from harm.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I have a really good idea.

    Here's a really good idea: Let us, the civilised world, (and a goodly chunk of the uncivilised world,) just stop trading with the US. Every single country demit from the WTO, and form a new one, with the specific purpose of imposing the morals of the rest of the world on the US. Until the day the day that they offer proportional representation, 100% empeachable, transparent and accountable government, upper boundries on corporate power, universal health care and education, and write the universal declaration of human rights into their constitution in such a way that it can not be "overriden" by a morally deficient president...

    ...let's just isolate them. As a planet, let's collectively ignore the entire country. Block them off from the internet, cease trade, and annex the "foreign offices" of organisations headquartered there. They can have thier "moral righteousness" and thier xenophobia, and espessially their hypocracy, and the rest of the world can put them in a time out.

    I'm not saying the rest of the world is perfect, far from it, but I'll be damned if some american is going to tell me what is right and what is wrong, when his own bloody country is falling apart.

    If I view a nude lady online, god will not smite me down. If I play some online poker, the internet will not implode. And for the love of Jes*s and baby puppies, no Al Quaeda is going to put a dirty bomb in any of my cities. If they did, we'd deal with it, and we'd do it without asking for American help. Dealing with the "evil terrists" ourselves is far, far better than the price we'd have to pay for American "help."

    So too all you yankees who love to get on here and toot about how great your country is...fine...that's your right. Go toot your horn in your back yard, and opress some minorities to make yourself feel better. Just please, GTFO my country, and GTFO british news sites. Fox is what your government has approved for you.

    Flame becuase while I believe in what I wrote, I only posted it to fan the flames...

  24. Angus Wood

    Outcomes ARE local

    [...]The outcome of gambling within an electronic device within the US is therefore a busted-flush as far as "online" is concerned. It's a gambling device with operational connections outside of the State it's based.[...]

    While it is true, as you say, that casino slot machines are x86-based machines (Have a look at Heber and Densitron to name two manufactures of the cores) and it is also true that (some) systems managment is performed from off-site locations (See IGT's web site, they're the gorilla of the industry) it is not true to say that the outcome of the game being played is determined off-site. Each machine seeds a PRNG from a "true" RNG on board and uses that to determine the outcome (reel positions, video poker cards deal etc.) People are quite hot on that particular subject and you'd not get machine approval ("homologation in the parlance) for most juristictions if it were not that way.

    There are, or rather were, situations where the outcome was decided off-site, specifically the Fixed-Odds Betting (video roulette being the most popular) machines in UK bookmakers although that's now been superceded by the new machine regulations in the 2005 Gambling Act.

  25. JC

    So what?

    The US can choose to outlaw anything it wants, so long as a majority go along with that. Don't like it? We didn't ask if you did.

    When the EU asks, the appropriate response would be that being the progressive nation the US is (for all the bad as well as good outcomes that brings), they foresaw the inherant problem in letting gambling occur in areas outside regulation to the extent that there was no way to ensure fairness or taxation.

    Is it protectionism? Better question is which effective government doesn't practice some kind of protectionism? I tend to agree with the US decision, that the world, not just the US, should have gambling restricted to areas in which the gambler's goverment can have a certain level of authority and control over the business, instead of expecting and entrusting some foreign government to act aggressively at shutting down some 'sites that may be bringing a lot of money into their country.

    In short, if you can't get up off your bum and make it down to the casino, you don't deserve to gamble.

  26. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    Woah... haven't we rather missed the point here?

    Exactly what right do the "European" Commission have to dictate policy in the US?

    If some assfuck from the States comes over here and tells us we have to go to the Church of Not-Cultology, or contribute to the American taxation system, or stop all forms of contraception or pour syrup on steaks or whatever... we do the right thing and send them straight back, preferably wearing concrete swimming trunks. The EU is a "european nanny", go and make your own and give us our useless fucktards back.

    Paris - the only bit of Europe that belongs in The US.

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