07/09/2001 11:00PM

NTRA exec to testify in House


Greg Avioli, the deputy commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, will testify Thursday before of a House of Representatives subcommittee about the threat that would be posed to racing by the prohibition of Internet wagering, Avioli said Tuesday.

Avioli has been asked to speak about Internet wagering by the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations as a representative of the Thoroughbred industry. He said Tuesday that his written testimony will focus on racing's reliance on communications technology for simulcasting and offtrack wagering, which currently accounts for 82 percent of the bets placed on horse races.

"All of which involve computer networks which, depending on how you define it, likely uses the Internet," Avioli said. "So it is important that any legislation be very carefully drafted so that it doesn't prohibit any of the things that racing is currently doing today."

Although no legislation has been introduced this session to ban Internet wagering, a number of bills were debated last year that would have prohibited or restricted betting over the Internet.

Other speakers include Frank Fahrenkopf, the president of the American Gaming Association; Valerie Lorenz, the executive director of the Compulsive Gambling Center; and Bill Saum, a director of the NCAA's anti-gambling division.