International edition
September 25, 2020

Two legislators teamed to introduce The Wire Clarification Act

US: Legislation seeks UIGEA clarity

(US).- Two Members of the US House Of Representatives have introduced legislation that would clarify the legality of online parimutuel horserace wagering in light of the recently implemented Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

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cott Murphy, a conservative Democrat from New York’s 20th Congressional District, has teamed with Republican Brett Guthrie, representative of Kentucky’s Second Congressional District, to introduce The Wire Clarification Act, which is also known as House Of Representatives 5599. “Horseracing is at the heart of our local economy,” said Congressman Murphy. “It brings much needed revenue and is responsible for thousands of local jobs.”

“When the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve created new rules governing Internet gambling transactions, credit card companies felt that it was no longer safe under the 1940’s-era Wire Act to accept online transactions on parimutuel betting, an essential component of the racing economy. Now the rules are hampering and essential stream revenue from flowing to the racing industry,” Murphy added.

The legislation, if passed, would provide definitive clarification that the Wire Act and other similar statutes are not applicable to regulated activities under the Interstate Horseracing Act. Such illumination would, the Congressmen believe, relieve credit card companies from the constant threat of prosecution and assure them that there is no need to block legal online parimutuel wagering as authorised by the Interstate Horseracing Act.

Murphy revealed that online parimutuel wagering on races from Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course totalled approximately us$ 210 million last year, which contributed around us$ 18.5 million in revenues to the New York Racing Association.

He stated that the domestic horseracing industry is worth about us$ 39 billion with 1.4 million sustained jobs while lawful wagering via the Internet represents a substantial portion of the total funds bet on the sport. He fears that any lack of clarification could result in less wagering, reduced purses and economic decline for tracks, breeders and workers.

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