Internet Gambling Bill Hangs in the Balance

It's similar to the endless parade of opinion polls in the presidential race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush. Which one do you believe?

There's plently of speculation as to the status of the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (House Bill 3125), but one thing is for certain: If it doesn't come up for a vote before Oct. 9, when Congress adjourns, it will have to be reintroduced in another form when legislators return in January of 2001.

As of Sept. 25, there had been no movement on the measure, which has the support of the pari-mutuel industry but is opposed by other special interests who don't care for its exemption for racing. Rep. Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, who sponsored by the bill, continues to push for action, said Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council.

"It's not dead, but that doesn't mean it's alive and kicking the heck out of everything," Hickey said. "But remember that no legislation is truly over until Congress adjourns."

In the past few weeks, AHC representatives have continued to lobby for the bill, and National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith has spent days in Washington, D.C., to represent the Thoroughbred industry.