WASHINGTON - Congress is considering legislation that would prohibit consumers from using credit cards to gamble on the Internet, but the card industry is steering clear of the debate.

Despite the loss of potential revenue from an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, none of the major card companies are taking a position on the bill that until late Wednesday had been scheduled for a House Banking Committee vote today. As long as the bill limits card issuers' responsibility if gambling charges inadvertently go through, MasterCard International, Visa, and their banking partners will not attempt to influence its outcome.

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