A bill that ostensibly would ban Internet gambling but that would maintain exemptions for closed-loop, subscriber-based services and certain types of online betting on pari-mutuel events was approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

The bill — H.R. 3125-the Gambling Prohibition Act of 1999 — has been the object of much criticism from anti-gambling activists because of the exemptions for certain kinds of wagering, such as state and multistate lotteries and dog- and horse-racing events. In committee, the bill was amended in a way that effectively blocks states from offering online versions of their lotteries; it now limits such betting or wagering to the physical location where it takes place, which must be a “a facility that is open to the general public.”

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