06/10/2003 11:00PM

House passes credit card ban


The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday night that would ban certain ways of funding Internet gambling accounts but exempted U.S. horse racing operations.

The bill passed by a vote of 319-104. Opponents of the racing exemption made several unsuccessful attempts to strike the language from the bill.

A similar bill that also includes the horse racing exemption is currently in the Senate Banking Committee. Greg Avioli, the deputy commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said he believed that the committee would address the bill within the next several weeks.

The bill passed on Tuesday prohibits U.S. financial companies from allowing people to use their credit or debit cards to deposit money in accounts at Internet gambling sites, principally offshore companies.

Avioli said that he expects renewed lobbying from Native American interests to add an exemption for casinos on tribal lands to the Senate bill. He said the NTRA would not support or oppose any additional exemptions as long as the racing exemption was not threatened.