House Delays Vote on Internet Gambling Bill

The House of Representatives Tuesday tabled its scheduled vote on the latest version of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, which included an exemption for horse racing and other state-regulated gambling activities.

The non-action by the House is the result of continued legislative posturing by key Congressmen. There are now currently three different versions of the Internet gambling bill mired in various stages of the legislative process. Greg Avioli, a deputy commissioner for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said it is not known if any of the three will be brought back before the full House this session.

The version scheduled to reach the House Tuesday was an abbreviated form of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Prohibition Act that was pushed through the Financial Services Committee last month by Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio). It needed a two-thirds majority vote by the House to pass because it had been placed on the Suspension Calendar, which limits debate and prevents amendments.

A week prior to the bill clearing the Financial Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee passed its own version of the bill that included an amendment erasing the exemption for state-regulated pari-mutuel wagering. Prior to Tuesday's scheduled vote, several Congressmen expressed criticism that the version brought before the House was an attempt to get around the Judiciary Committee's amendment.