11/02/2001 12:00AM

Support for casino-type bet ban


Racing lobbyists said Friday that the Thoroughbred racing industry plans to support a bill introduced in the House of Representatives that would ban casino-type gambling over the Internet.

The bill, which was introduced on Thursday by Sen. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, would place broad restrictions on internet gambling in an attempt to shut down both domestic and off-shore internet casino operators. It would also prohibit gamblers from using their credit cards to deposit money at gambling sites. Late Thursday, racing lobbyists had declined to comment on the bill, citing uncertainty over whether its language would affect horseracing. On Friday, though, lobbyists said the bill would not harm racing.

"Nothing in the bill will outlaw what is currently allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act," said Greg Avioli, the deputy commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Avioli said the bill's credit-card restrictions would not prohibit deposits made by people who hold horseracing telephone-wagering accounts.

On Thursday, Goodlatte said in an interview that the bill would not prohibit "anything that was currently legal under any racing statute."