The European Union launched an enquiry on Monday to examine whether U.S. laws aimed at foreign online gambling firms break international trade rules. European online gambling companies such as PartyGaming and bwin Interactive Entertainment have complained that a US ban that prevents American banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country has shut them out of the US online gambling market, allowing American firms to flourish. Should the investigation reveal that the ban discriminates against European companies, the EU said it was prepared to take the matter to the World Trade Organization (WTO). More details on the twists and turns of the US ban at this AP story here. The official release is here.