Senator Kyl keeps bringing up a a bill that would make any type of online wagering illegal. His bill includes online gaming, bingo, poker and even horse racing wagers. Fortunately for all online gaming enthusiasts, his bill has little positive following from the other Senators. This bill is in line with the WTO ruling and for the first time included a ban on horse racing wagers. The bill states that credit cards companies, banks and other financial institutions are barred from accepting any transactions that are related to online gambling. Kyl has tried to get this passed before, but so far he has had little backing for his bill. The questions that gaming operators are asking is where will his ideas pop up again in the form of a barring legislation.
The World Trade Organization, WTO, forced the United States to clarify its gambling rules with regard to Internet wagering on horse racing which was allowed under the Interstate Horse Racing Act. The clarification was needed as this US law contradicted some of the international trade agreements. Antigua and Barbuda argued that they could do business with customers that resided in any state that allowed this form of Internet wagering. These Caribbean countries were heavily involved in Internet gaming and it provided core income to the businesses in those island countries. The band on offshore wagering violated the trade agreements that the US was a signer on.
The Kyl bill would eliminate this contradiction if horse racing wagers could not be made over the Internet. However the horse racing people would be hurt to an extreme measure if this bill were to become law. The racing operations depend on the wagers that come via the Internet to stay afloat. The major tracks in the US have wagers coming into online operations that are tied into the tracks tote boards. Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment would be adversely affected the way the current bill reads. Online wagering operators like TVG and YouBet would effectively be put out of business by this bill. The news of this bill caused many racing or gaming stocks to lose value as investors sold out on the news.
The bill without any modifications would be the death notice to all of the racing institutions in the US and that industry generates $3 billion a year. This bill could also stop simulcasting of major races. Wagering operations would be closed and this form of public entertainment would be shut down permanently.
Fortunately for those affected and the punters that are wagering this bill has failed in the past and is likely to do the same this time. Actually there is a move afoot in the Congress to make online wagering legal and a very good source for tax dollars to the US government.