Internet Gambling Bill on Table Again

On Wednesday, the U. S. House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to discuss the "Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act," which has been targeted by at least one legislator who wants to eliminate provisions that protect interstate simulcasting and account wagering.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, would prohibit Internet gambling but protect existing wagering protected under federal law. Rep. Chris Cannon of Utah, one of two states with no legal gambling, wants the protection for the pari-mutuel industry stripped from the bill.

The American Horse Council alerted members of the situation the week of May 6. It distributed a draft letter and a list of fax numbers for members of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act has been a work in process for years. Various interests, including horse racing, casino gambling, lotteries, and Indian tribes, have sought provisions in the legislation.

The pari-mutuel industry earned a victory when the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 was modified to protect existing practices. According to the AHC, Cannon's amendment targets those provisions included under the federal Wire Act.

The AHC has said it opposes unauthorized and unregulated gambling in any form, including the Internet.