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EU Trade Chief: U.S. Needs to Change Gambling Laws

European trade chief Peter Mandelson said the United States should let foreign companies into its multibillion-dollar online gaming market instead of trying to compensate European firms for shutting them out.

"The U.S. has so far opted for compensation to make right what is wrong," he told members of the European Parliament on Tuesday. "I don't think compensation does that job."

The European Union and other trading partners have been in compensation talks with the United States over Washington's decision to remove gambling services retroactively from commitments it made as part of a 1994 world trade agreement.

Billions of euros were wiped off the market value of European online gaming companies when the United States closed off its market last year.

"What we really need is for the legislation to be put right and for foreign operators to stop being excluded and discriminated against in the way the present U.S. legislation does," Mandelson said.

Mandelson met U.S. Senator Barney Frank during a visit to Washington this month and he said on Tuesday he was hopeful the senator's attempts to change the law would be successful.

"I will continue to make these arguments on behalf of the European industry," Mandelson said.