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The King of Diamonds smiles behind a "join now" button on the screen of an online gambling website. - 


Doug Krizner: On the British market, online gaming stocks are among the big losers. Today, the E.U. decided not fight the U.S. ban on Internet gambling. Instead, a trade deal has been struck to compensate European Internet gambling companies for being shut out of the U.S. Our European reporter is Megan Williams.

Megan Williams: The stakes were high, and European online gambling companies lost big. Operations such as PartyGaming and 888.com were hoping the E.U. would battle to get them back in the American market.

The companies aren't commenting -- they were banned from the U.S. a year ago, when Congress passed a law keeping foreign gambling outfits out of the U.S. Shares in the European companies dropped, and they appealed to the World Trade Organization to challenge the decision.

In the new deal, the U.S. market remains closed to European gambling outfits. In return, Europe service providers get better access to the U.S. postal and courier, research and development, as well as storage and warehouse sectors.

But the E.U. says it will keep pressing the U.S. for what it calls "a non-discriminatory policy towards Internet gambling."

I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.