Online gaming ban: Is it protectionism?

TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: Across the Atlantic, that anti-Internet betting bill that Congress passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning still has a lot of folks mad. One of the UK's biggest Internet gaming firms is accusing Congress of protectionism. Sportingbet says the bill really aims to keep foreign companies away from the American jackpot. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Sportingbet says the bill passed by Congress at the weekend will mostly hit non-U.S. operators.

The company says American Internet firms taking bets on horse racing , or running lotteries or intra-state gambling will remain legal.

It claims the object is clear, to end the largely British domination of a $12 billion a year industry.

Damien Rees, the Financial Editor of the Daily Telegraph, says Sportingbet is right. The new bill will allow US gambling companies to grab the lion share of the Internet betting market.

DAMIEN REES: They have great marketing power. They'd be able to use their established gaming brands and really cash in on what is clearly a very popular past-time in America.

Currently Americans are reckoned spend up to $7 billion a year on Internet betting.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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