EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson is pressing the United States to open its gambling market to European operators or compensate for losses.
Mandelson visited Washington, D.C. this week for meetings on “Transatlantic Economic Cooperation,” and met with U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.
He said that the United States should pay the European Union and other countries compensation for violating World Trade Organization rules by banning Internet gambling or open its doors to trade. He also met with U.S. Representative Barney Frank, D-Mass., to discuss possible legislative solutions to a trade dispute over online Togel Online gaming.
The WTO ruled that the U.S. had violated trade rules by barring Antiguan online gaming operators from the U.S. market. Then, the U.S. withdrew its WTO obligations with regard to free trade in the gaming area. Now, Europe and other countries can demand trade concessions up the size of the entire sector on an annual basis.
EU and U.S. leaders are in settlement talks but have not agreed on the size of the concessions. If they do not come to an agreement, the EU could demand a binding arbitration before a WTO panel.
Antigua has entered arbitration to determine the size of the compensation, while India, Costa Rica, and Canada are also seeking compensation. Rep. Frank has introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, which would regulate Internet gambling and could bring the U.S. into compliance with WTO rules.
U.S. trade partners have said that the American withdrawal sends a message that the United States sets different standards for itself and its trade partners. Gambling operators inside the country also want the federal government to allow Internet gambling companies into the market, now dominated by operators in Las Vegas.
Churchill Downs Incorporated Reports 2007 Third-Quarter Results
Churchill Downs Incorporated today reported the results for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.
Net revenues from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2007 grew 7.1 percent to $103.9 million, compared to the $97.0 million reported during the same period of 2006. The growth in net revenues from continuing operations was driven primarily by the Company’s June 2007 acquisition of the AmericaTAB and Bloodstock Research Information Systems advance-deposit wagering (“ADW”) and data-services companies; the May 2007 launch of the Company’s first owned and operated ADW platform, TwinSpires.com; and the improved performance of Arlington Park.
The Chicago-area racetrack experienced larger field sizes and higher pari-mutuel wagering on its races during the third quarter after installing a synthetic racing surface in April 2007.
The Company’s higher net revenues from continuing operations were offset partially by lower net revenues at Churchill Downs Racetrack, which hosted six fewer days of live racing during the third quarter of 2007 compared to the same period one year ago.
Despite hosting four additional race days during the quarter, Calder Race Course also experienced lower net revenues due to heavy rains throughout the summer months that forced 55 turf races, more than one-third of all turf races scheduled during the third quarter, to be moved to the dirt surface. Calder also faced additional in-market competition for simulcast customers from South Florida pari-mutuel operations that already offer alternative gaming.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2007 totaled $10.0 million and was relatively unchanged year over year. During the third quarter of 2006, the Company recognized $1.8 million of pre-tax insurance recoveries, net of impairment losses, related to Hurricane Wilma.
Net earnings from continuing operations during the third quarter of 2007 were $1.1 million, or $0.08 per diluted common share, compared to $2.9 million, or $0.21 per diluted common share, during the third quarter of 2006.