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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
8/14/1978--Reported to Senate amended. (Reported to Senate from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendment, S. Rept. 95-1117) Interstate Horseracing Act - Expresses the findings of Congress with regard to the need for Federal action to prevent interference by one State with the gambling policies of another and to ensure that States will cooperate with one another in the area of interstate off-track wagering on horseraces. Declares that the policy of Congress is to regulate interstate commerce with respect to wagering on horseracing, in order to further the horseracing and legal offtrack betting industries in the United States. Prohibits the acceptance of an interstate off-track wager unless consent is obtained from (1) the host racing association, (2) the host racing commission, and (3) the off-track racing commission. Conditions consent by a host racing association upon the existence of a written agreement with the applicable horsemen's group, except in the case of a nonprofit racing association in a State where the distribution of off-track betting revenues is set forth by law. Requires that off-track betting offices shall obtain the approval of (1) all currently operating tracks within 60 miles of such office; and (2) if there are none within 60 miles, then the closest currently operating track in an adjoining State. Permits any off-track betting office in a State with at least 250 days of on-track parimutuel horseracing a year to accept interstate off-track wagers for a total of 60 racing days and 25 special events a year without the consent required by this Act if there is no racing of the same type at the same time of day being conducted within such State, within 60 miles of the off-track betting office, or such racing program cannot be completed. Excludes from such 60 days and consent requirements dark days (defined as those days when racing of the same type does not occur in an off-track betting office during a race meeting) which occur during a regularly scheduled race meeting in the off-track betting State. Prohibits such betting system from employing a takeout, (defined as that portion of a wager deducted from the parimutuel pool and distributed to others than those placing wagers) for an interstate wager which is greater than the takeout for corresponding wagering pools of off-track wagers on races run within the off-track State except where such greater takeout is authorized by State law in the off-track State. Subjects any person violating this Act to a civil action which may be brought by (1) the host racing association, (2) the host State, or (3) the horsemen's group. Allows the courts (1) to enjoin further violations of this Act, and (2) to award damages in an amount equal to the amount of that portion of the takeout which the host State, the host racing association, and the horsemen's group would have received if such wagers had been placed at the track where the race was held. States that in the event that a wager accepted in violation of this Act is of a type not accepted at the host track, the damages shall be equal to the rate of takeout used by the off-track betting system for that type of wager and shall be distributed equally. Grants jurisdiction over an action under this Act to the United States District Court in the host State or State in which the off-track wager was alleged to have been made. Grants concurrent jurisdiction to State courts of competent jurisdiction in the host State or off-track State. Prescribes a statute of limitations of three years after the discovery of an alleged violation of this Act. Stipulates that this Act does not permit a State to be sued other than in accordance with its applicable laws. States that this Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and shall apply to any interstate off-track wager accepted on or after such date. States that the provisions of this Act shall not apply to (1) a wager accepted pursuant to a contract existing on May 1, 1978, (2) any form of legal non-parimutuel off-track betting existing in a State on May 1,1978, and (3) any parimutuel off-track betting system existing on May,1, 1978, in a State which does not conduct parimutuel horseracing on the date of enactment of this Act.