Intrastate Online Poker in the Works in Massachusetts

September 19, 2011

Despite the US federal government’s advice to state governments to not pursue the legalization and regulation of online poker at the intrastate level, many state governments continue to push ahead with poker legislation. Most states have continuously hit a brick wall when attempting to pass such legislation, but they persist in their efforts. Now perhaps something will give.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are strongly considering the introduction of intrastate poker regulations now that the Massachusetts House has approved the inclusion of an expanded gambling bill, Representative Dan Winslow’s proposed amendment. Winslow’s bill would require five licenses be issued for online poker by a state gambling commission by July 31st, 2012. The reasoning behind Winslow’s proposal is financial. He believes that this action would generate revenue for the state as well as create high tech jobs for educated yet otherwise unemployed citizens.

The bill must further pass the Senate and a conference committee and would then still be subject to a veto by Massachusetts’s Governor Deval Patrick, much like the veto of the New Jersey legislature that went through both the House and the Senate of New Jersey, only to get vetoed by the governor at the last minute back in March of this year.

Meanwhile, members of the online poker community, especially those in Massachusetts, are keeping their fingers crossed in hopes that this may be the online poke bill that finally makes law.


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