EU wants US to change online gambling laws

The US must change an internet gambling law that discriminates against European companies by preventing them from offering services in the US market, the European Union's top trade official, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report further quoted EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson as syaing that 'what we need to see is a change in US legislation that removes that discrimination against EU operators.'

The European Union and other trading partners have been in compensation talks with the US over Washington's decision to retroactively remove gambling services from the market-opening commitments it made as part of the 1994 Uruguay Round world trade agreement, the Reuters report said.

The US took that step after the World Trade Organization ruled in a case brought by the tiny Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda, the report said.

Congress has since passed a broader online gambling ban, it added. EU-based gambling firms have urged the bloc to seek as much as $100 billion in compensation for being shut out of the US market.

The Reuters report said Mandelson would talk on Thursday with Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, about his bill to roll back the online gambling ban.