Legal protection for interstate simulcasting is far from assured.
Members of the U.S. House and Senate last week did approve an amendment to the Interstate Horse Racing Act that would clarify the legal status of simulcasting, commingled pools, and account wagering between state's with legalized account and pari-mutuel wagering.
The amendment, however, is part of an appropriations bill that President Bill Clinton has already said he intends to veto. An immigration issue is what may kill the bill. Democrats want amnesty for an estimated one million immigrants who entered the country illegally before 1986, but Republicans offered in the bill a narrower measure that offers $39.9 billion to help immigrant families stay together. As of Monday morning, the bill's status remained in limbo.
Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council, declined comment on bill's status because it was so undecided at press time. Rep. Bill Rodgers, R-Ky, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, who both sponsored the amendment, could not be reached for comment.