Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.More articles by Vin Narayanan
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) announced today that it is filing a trade complaint against the U.S. for discriminating against European online gaming operators. The complaint says the U.S. has violated international law and World Trade Organization rules by pursuing criminal prosecutions of foreign gaming operators while allowing domestic operators to flourish.
"We have been left with no choice but to pursue all legal avenues available to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice for its discriminatory enforcement activities against European online gaming operators," said Clive Hawkswood, the RGA's chief executive.
The association, which says it represents dozens of European online gaming companies, filed its complaint under a provision of the EU's Trade Barriers Regulation. And even though the EU just reached a trade deal with the U.S. that opened up the postal and storage sectors in return for the lack of access in online gaming, the RGA believes its complaint must be acted upon.
"While Monday's agreement purports to offer compensation for the withdrawal of market access by the US, it does not address discriminatory and protectionist U.S practices against European and other foreign online operators in the form of selective prosecution related to trade in gambling services that took place before the withdrawal of the commitment," the RGA said in a statement.
"How would U.S. investors and businessmen feel if they invested in a business in the United Kingdom based on international law commitments, and then suddenly the U.K. not only passed new laws forcing them to shut down their business, but then tried to throw them in jail for past activities while still allowing their domestic competitors to continue on doing the same thing?" Hawkswood added.
The EU has not said if it would investigate the RGA's complaint.