Massachusetts Considers Legalizing Online Poker, Casinos

MassachusettsMassachusetts politicians are turning their attention to the viability of legalized, intrastate online gambling to bring in more revenue annually.

In today’s United States, local, state, and federal governments everywhere are faced with a situation where they are simply not bringing in enough revenue annually. Struggling for ways to increase the bottom line, many states have begun treading down the path of legalized and taxed online gambling. While there are a number of states currently mulling over the idea of legalized online gambling, few have seen prospective legislation move along more quickly than Massachusetts.

You see, Massachusetts has recently gotten into expanding the presence of brick and mortar casinos throughout the state. This move has not only brought in more revenue from gambling, it has given the tourism industry a boost as well. With brick and mortar establishments doing so well, it comes as no surprise that politicians are now turning their attention to the viability of legalized, intrastate gambling.

As it stands, State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr has produced and submitted an online gambling bill that would see existing casinos able to legally offer online casino games to anyone living with the state’s borders. Receiving some support from the Chairman of the state’s gaming commission, Tarr’s proposal may very well have a shot at being approved and implemented.

State Gaming Commission chair Stephen Crosby recently made it known that his office was comprising a piece that describes, in detail, how the prospective online gambling industry would be controlled and regulated. One of the hot-button topics is without a doubt the legal status of daily fantasy sports sites, but also that of other online casino games, including the massively popular Texas Hold’em. Crosby then went on to allude that if Massachusetts legalizes online poker and other games, neighboring states may also do the same, setting up a situation where the whole of New England could potentially set up a regional online gambling presence. The Gaming Commission’s report is due to be introduced to state legislators in January, though it must be noted that there is no official goal tied to the report.

Supporters of legalized casino games and [geolink href=””]online poker in Massachusetts[/geolink] are utilizing the same tactics as those who, only a few years ago, were also pushing for brick and mortar casinos to be legalized. Basically, the argument holds that if Massachusetts does not act on legalization, their neighbor states will and will account for all online gambling revenue in the region. When it comes down to it, proponents of this movement are hoping to see Massachusetts become a trend-setter.

Online gambling and the legalization discussion surrounding it are nothing new to the state of Massachusetts. Only a short while ago the main topic of discussion surrounded the state’s lottery was when it was going to be moved online, and how quickly the state could implement it. And, once again, at the core of the discussion was the goal of maximizing in-state revenue as opposed to letting dollars cross over a state boundary line and be spent there. As we inch closer to a new governmental year in the United States, it will be interesting to see how the landscape surrounding legalized online poker will develop. Though this may be a false sense of optimism, it seems as though an increasing number of states are realizing the financial benefits that legalizing online poker would have. With all of this said, it is still going to be extremely difficult for anyone to envision a scenario where poker and other games are made wholly legal federally, so the battle is still very much uphill for poker players in the US.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett