The horseracing industry is having a symposium in Arizona this week, and one of the sessions focused on Internet gambling and the UIGEA.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (same folks that have given Bob Goodlatte $40,000 in campaing funds) and the American Horse Council say that the UIGEA will not hinder their efforts to promote horse racing through online betting.

But some believe that the WTO case may do damage to their special status as one of the only legal forms of online gambling in the US.

If the foreign countries see the Internet gambling law language that protects horse racing--the IHA provision--as a problem, they could target the industry.

“I think that is a good possibly,” (said Bruce Zagaris, an attorney for Berlinger Corcoran & Rowe who has worked with international gaming companies and small governments involved with international trade). “I would think a potential option that would do less harm is if the U.S. does legalize (Internet gambling) and gains revenue. (The racing industry) would have competition, but more opportunities to do new products and services.”

The horseracing industry at large doesn’t agree. It has touted the fact horserace betting is the only legal form of Internet wagering in the U.S., and hopes to use that to its advantage as it seeks out new markets.

On Dec. 5, Peggy Hendershot, senior vice president of legislative and corporate planning for the NTRA, said the organization’s attorneys haven’t mentioned foreign retaliation against racing as a threat. She said the trade issue is between the U.S. and other countries, not the racing industry and other countries.