Massachusetts Set to Make Online Poker a Felony

Published Monday, April 05, 2010 -

Massachusetts is set to throw all bets aside and make online gambling and online poker a criminal activity within it's borders. Expanding gambling within Massachusetts is being discussed but only terrestrial based casinos and gambling not internet gambling in fact the new proposition will make the thousands of people that already play online casinos and poker rooms in the state felons. According to the wording in the bill, online gambling participation could net a person up to two years imprisonment and or a fine of no more than $25,000 USD. The state will benefit from the addition of land based gambling with the government's cut being 25% of casino revenue and 40% from slot machines. The abolishment of online activity would create in effect a more lucrative brick and mortar business for the state of Massachusetts. Ironically Barney Frank, a Democrat is the leading representative for the taxation and regulation of online gambling, comes from Massachusetts. The lobby groups are massing for and against online gambling legalisation in the States that is already supported by at least sixty representatives in the Senate. Poker players are leading the battle lobbying for a regulated environment for online poker rooms with the Poker Players Alliance having more than 25,000 members in Massachusetts alone. Governor Deval Patrick has come out against the proposed bill according to the Boston Globe newspaper. Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo introduced the bill which is reportedly backed by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. DeLeo is not planning on any public debate on the issue stating that hearings have already been held on the topic and “everything has been studied thoroughly.” As part of the bill, two Massachusetts casino licenses will be issued, each with a price tag of $100 million. In addition, four slot machine licenses will be awarded for $15 million each. More police will be added in Massachusetts to help keep everything under control.





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