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EU Strikes Web Gambling Deal with US

Reuters
Monday, 17 Dec 2007 | 5:03 AM ET

The European Commission, in a blow to European online gaming companies, on Monday struck a deal for compensation from the United States over a U.S. decision to close its gambling markets to foreign operators.

European companies such as PartyGaming and bwin Interactive Entertainment had hoped the European Union executive might shun a settlement and instead fight to restore their ability to operate in the world's biggest market.

Shares in PartyGaming were down 3.3 percent at 29.25 pence and bwin stock was down 2.6 percent at 25.95 euros.

"A bilateral agreement was signed in Geneva, which provides EU service suppliers with new trade opportunities in the U.S. postal and courier, research and development, storage and warehouse sectors," the Commission said in a statement.

"The U.S. also made concessions in the testing and analysis services sector."

The Commission said it would continue to press the United States for "a non-discriminatory policy towards Internet gambling."