06/16/2004 11:00PM

House passes bill to stop tax


The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday containing a provision favored by racetracks looking to expand into international markets.

The bill passed by a vote of 251-178 with five abstentions. The provision supported by racetracks would eliminate a 30 percent withholding tax on wagers placed in foreign countries on U.S. races. The Senate passed a version of the bill on May 11 that also included the withholding language, but the two bills will need to be reconciled in committee before taking effect.

Racetrack officials say theyhope that the elimination of the tax would open up foreign markets to U.S. racing. The largest market that does not participate in U.S. commingled pools because of the tax is Canada.