RGA Disappointed With the WTO

20 December 2007

The RGA was disappointed with the WTO compensation between EU and US.
Chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) stated his organization was disappointed by the news of an agreement between the EU and the US regarding the withdrawal of gambling services from its WTO commitments. But it will continue lobbying for US to have a regulated system.

Though the news was not unexpected he had hoped the negotiations would “go on for a while to put some pressure on the US” stated Clive Hawkswood.

A European Commission (EC) official stated the package was substantive with meaningful commitments for the EU.

The terms of the agreement signed today in Geneva, the US will provide the EU with new trade concessions in mail services and warehousing. The value of the compensation falls short of the US$100bn (E69bn) worth of concessions the EU was seeking.

The terms of the agreement, gambling services will no longer be covered by the US’ WTO commitments. But, the EC will seek a “non-discriminatory policy towards internet gambling in the US. EU spokesperson for trade, Peter Power, stated, while the US is free to decide how to best respond to legitimate policy concerns relating to internet gambling, discrimination against EU or other foreign companies should be avoided.

Efforts made by EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson in taking the case to the US was hailed by Hawkswood. He has done a lot for us, he stated. When was the last time we had a senior politician go to the US to press the case for the gambling industry?”

Hawkswood stated the agreement between the EU and the US was likely to “be a factor” in the ongoing negotiations between the US and China, India, Canada and other countries over the WTO issue. Including the dispute with Antigua which started the process where a decision regarding the compensation due to the tiny Caribbean island, which has been delayed.