Massachusetts Online Gambling Bill for 2017 Introduced

Massachusetts Online Gambling Effort For 2017 Begins With Filing Of New Bill

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Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr has reintroduced legislation that would legalize online gambling in the state.

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At this point, the two-page bill contains no specifics when it comes to licensing, taxation, or regulations.

SD 618 states:

“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a gaming license pursuant to Chapter 23K of the general laws may also be licensed… to conduct gaming operations via the internet, provided that such operations do not include or reflect gaming mechanisms operated by the state lottery program of those simulating or resembling slot machines, so-called, provided that such license obtains an Internet Gaming License pursuant to this section.”

The limitation to existing land-based licensees (a similar condition exists for New Jersey’s online casinos) means that Internet Gaming Licenses would be available only to MGM, Penn National, and Wynn.

Tarr has been pushing the issue of online gambling for several years, most recently via similar shell legislation (S 241) in the 2015/2016 session.

You can track SD 618 via the MyLegislature service provided by the Massachusetts legislature.

Online efforts in Massachusetts run the gamut

The online gaming bill introduced by Senator Tarr is one piece of a much larger online gaming puzzle Massachusetts is trying to put together:

As noted by GamblingCompliance’s Chris Krafcik, Tarr is part of the aforementioned commission, a dynamic that could ultimately influence the nature and direction of Tarr’s approach in the legislature:

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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