Republican Representative Chris Gibson has announced the launch of a bill aimed at protecting online wagering on horse racing from restrictive internet gambling laws. The bill is reportedly similar to one former Democrat Congressman Scott Murphy wrote last year.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Gibson said "While the (current) rules were designed to crack down on illegal Internet gambling, they have unintentionally created confusion regarding the validity of credit card transactions for legitimate wagers on horse racing that are sanctioned by the federal Interstate Horseracing Act."
"As a result, several credit card companies have decided not to process any gaming transactions, even legal Internet gaming transactions on horse racing."
The racing industry has invested millions in online pari-mutuel wagering and doesn't want to see it wasted, especially while betting via the internet is growing.
When the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. closed last year after going bankrupt, the New York Racing Association began accepting online registrations for its NYRA Rewards program and streaming live races online.
"In upstate New York, we are fortunate to have Saratoga Race Course, the crown jewel of horse racing in the state and the economic engine for our area," Gibson said. "To sustain this much-needed tourism revenue and to protect thousands of jobs, we must ensure that horse wagering remains legal, as intended by federal law."
The legislation will go before the House Judiciary Committee shortly.