Massachusetts: Gambling bill progress

Committee vote goes in favour of a bill that includes online gambling bans

The latest attempt to introduce land casino gambling to Massachusetts - a law that includes bans on Internet gambling - has been approved by the House Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies in a 12 in favor, two opposed, and five abstentions vote, and now progresses to the House Ways and Means Committee, on its way to the House floor for debate next week.

Launched by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, the bill is the latest attempt to introduce land casino gambling to the New England state in a political back-and-forth that has been ongoing for over 2 years (see previous InfoPowa reports).

The DeLeo bill carries within it a proposed legal ban on the offering of Internet gambling in the state, reports the Boston Globe this week. Section 36 (v) of the 172-page bill appears to explicitly criminalise all forms of Internet gambling, including online poker.

If passed, the bill will see state licenses issued for two resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and 750 slot machines at the state’s four struggling racetracks. The justification for this is increased tax revenues and improved employment opportunities for the state.

House chairman, Democrat Representative Brian S. Dempsey, was iinvolved in assisting DeLeo to draft the bill.

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