Online Poker Report

Another Swing and a Miss for Massachusetts Online Gambling

MA online poker
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Proponents of legal online gambling in Massachusetts took another shot at regulating the activity last week, only to be rebuffed by the state legislature.

State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr led the effort by introducing S.1826. That bill was designed to amend H.3535, a transportation financing bill.

S.1826 sought to insert language into H.3535 that would allow the state to issue Internet gambling licenses.

According to the legislative record, Tarr’s amendment was rejected on July 18th.

Attempt follows efforts to attach online gambling to state budget

Tarr’s bid to attach online gambling regulations to the transportation finance bill comes only two months after a group of GOP State Senators – including Tarr – attempted a similar maneuver with the Senate version of Massachusetts’ annual budget bill.

And the Senate push came directly on the heels of a failed attempt by several Massachusetts Representatives to attach online poker regulation to the House version of the state budget.

Latest bid would limit licenses, available games

The language of S.1826 echoes the outlines of Tarr’s earlier attempt, but is distinct from the House proposal.

Some key points of Tarr’s proposed regulatory framework:

  • Tax rate set at 20%.
  • License fee minimum $300k, renewal minimum $150k.
  • Limited number of licenses available only to existing land-based license holders.
  • Operators cannot “offer any online game in conflict with the state lottery.”
  • Intrastate gambling only, although compacts with other U.S. states (but apparently not international partners) are a possibility.
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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.