05/14/2003 12:00AM

House panel passes Internet ban

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A federal bill banning the use of credit cards for Internet gambling narrowly passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday with an amendment that removed exceptions for horse racing.

The bill joins a separate House bill passed out of the Financial Services Committee that includes the language granting the exception to racing.

Because the amendment would outlaw business practices used widely by existing gambling companies, racing lobbyists said the bill that passed Wednesday will find little support on the House floor.

"This bill used to have a chance," said one racing lobbyist who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Now that every form of gambling is going to oppose it, it's not going to pass."