Hope Remains for US Internet Gambling Industry

World-wide mainstream media reports that the EC-US trade compensation deal officially brings to an end non-American Internet gambling business in America. Stocks like Party Gaming and 888 Entertainment took a beating after the deal between the two entities was announced on Monday and mainstream news reported the deal as an end to the hopes of non-US companies ever entering the US market again.

But, some experts believe the mainstream reporters don’t fully understand the entire situation and those experts, such as Casino Gambling Web’s own Gordon Price, believe there are still strong factors that could see the US open its market back up to the world in the not-so-near future.

One such factor that could push the US to legalizing gambling online in the not-so-near to near-future: “The regulations implementing the UIGEA have still not been completed. After reading many of the comments from companies such as Bank of America on the proposed regs the promise of coming up with doable regulations appear almost as an impossibility,” Price said.

Bank of America, who claims to process the most payments world-wide, wrote in their comments on the proposed regs that implementing them would not only cost millions of dollars per year for them, but it would also dramatically slow down wire transfers for legitimate customers, increase processing fees for legitimate customers, and deny transactions that probably shouldn’t be denied for legitimate customers.

Another factor: Antigua and Barbuda will get a compensation deal much different than the EU-US deal.

“Unlike the EU-US deal, which was basically a negotiation, Antigua will see their compensation coming in the form of a ruling by a WTO panel,” Price said. “The US will have a hard time pressuring Antigua into a weak deal.”

Price believes that the WTO should give Antigua close to the $3.4 billion per year that they requested. If the compensation comes in the form of Antigua gaining the ability to sell pirated copies of music, movies, and software, expect some major pressure on the US to change their online gambling policy to come from some major US companies, like Microsoft, Time Warner, and Disney.

Another factor: Bills for legalization of online gambling still exist in the House at the moment.

Price said, “Just because a bad bill was passed and currently exists, does not mean it is not recognized by current lawmakers as a bad law that needs to be changed.”

Currently 45 co-sponsors are pushing the Barney Frank Bill HR 2046 (IGREA). Many of those 45 co-sponsors are long time veterans of congress who head some of the most powerful committees in the US House.

Hope is not dead for the online gambling industry in the United States. The European Commission did not make a strong argument attempting to persuade the US to change its law, they did not demand high compensation in order to pressure the US to change, but some industry experts believe the EU deal is not the end-all-tell-all for this industry.

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