US postpones EU meetings related to UIGEA

According to numerous news sources, the Office of the US Trade Representative has requested the postponement of planned meetings with a European Union (EU) delegation to discuss US online gambling policies.

Scheduled to take place next week in Washington, DC, the meetings were to consider accusations that EU-based online gambling firms were being unfairly discriminated against under the White House’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006.

The EU requested the discussions in December following complaints from leading operators and the Remote Gaming Association that the Bush Administration’s current online gambling policies of were unfair, inconsistent and damaging.

The EU subsequently issued a formal questionnaire to Susan Schwab, the US Trade Representative, along with several senior White House and Congressional officials but was met with resistance. In her answer, Schwab denied the allegations of discriminatory enforcement and stated that the questions were based on wrong assumptions and that charges against European gambling companies were not brought on the basis of nationality.

This latest delaying tactic is sure to intensify the debate with the US requesting that the talks be postponed until an as yet unknown future date.