With World Trade Organisation negotiations between the US Trade Representative and the Trade Commissioner of the European Union approaching, the Remote Gaming Association, a trade body representing the interests of online gambling companies, has outlined its main objectives.
The RGA's complaint about discriminatory US enforcement against European online gambling businesses triggered an EU investigation which found that the complaint was well founded, leading to the prospect of new talks between the US and the EU.
This week the CEO of Association, Clive Hawskwood, said in an interview with EGR that indemnity from prosecution, not compensation, remains the goal of the trade association.
“The aim is to secure what the European Commission deems is a reliable undertaking that EU gambling interests won’t be pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice for activities which should have been under protection of WTO agreements. There’s no issue of compensation,” Hawkswood emphasised.
“The implication of the complaint is that, yes, the US should bring its gambling rules into compliance with global rules on foreign trade, but the main issue for the RGA and its members is securing this indemnity from prosecution. Then we can talk about the other issues.”
One positive side effect of the WTO dispute and the EU investigation has been a heightened political interest in the issue, Hawkswood added.
“Our complaint has interested many politicians who previously had no interest in gambling, and have said to us: ‘We are the champion of the WTO and global free trade, so if we don’t stand behind this, how can we expect any other countries to do so?’,” said Hawkswood.
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