|NTRA Legislative Update
30 Percent Withholding Bill
The NTRA’s bill to eliminate the 30 percent withholding on winning
wagers made by foreign bettors was passed on October 1 by the Senate Finance
Committee. The bill was attached to the Foreign Earnings Tax Credit Bill
through the efforts of Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Blanche Lincoln
(D-AR). The Tax Credit Bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
A companion bill is pending before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Elimination of the 30 percent withholding tax will facilitate the opening
of the $85 billion international pari-mutuel wagering market to U.S. racing
and help to increase both handle and purses.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act (H.R. 2143),
which passed the House in June, has moved to the Senate. The current version
of the Senate bill (S. 627) specifically exempts pari-mutuel horseracing
from the bill’s prohibitions. The Senate has chosen to go with a
more targeted approach – dealing with each specific form of gaming
– as opposed to the House bill, which included a broad exception
for “lawful transactions with a business licensed or authorized
by a State.” The Senate Banking Committee unanimously passed the
bill on July 31 and it will now go before the full Senate for consideration.
The Senate bill is being closely scrutinized by all gaming entities (e.g.,
Native American gaming interests, casinos, lotteries, etc.) and it is
not clear whether sufficient support for the bill exists in the full Senate.
The NTRA PAC has raised more than $250,000 in 2003. As a PAC in its
first full year of fundraising we have made considerable progress, even
when measured against longstanding PACs representing well-established
interest groups. For more information on the NTRA PAC, contact Peggy Hendershot,
vice president of corporate communications, at (800) 792-NTRA or via e-mail