Posts Tagged ‘massachusetts online gambling’

USA Online Gambling Regulatory Update: Frank’s Bills Delayed; Amendments in Mass

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Currently, there are several areas in the U.S. online gambling legislative landscape that are experiencing a major upheaval. One, of course, is the overall federal stance toward online gambling as a whole in the States. The other resides on a State level, which at this time, is primarily being soaked up by Kentucky and Massachusetts. In other words, no other two States are making as many headlines in regards to online gambling legislation.

Not that I’m sick of talking about Kentucky (okay, maybe I am), it’s just that what is happening in Massachusetts is more about legislation than the legal battle currently taking place in Kentucky. As reported earlier last week here at OCS, Massachusetts is currently seeking to expand gambling. However, certain provisions slipped into the legislation would call for an outright ban of online gambling – going so far to impose a prison sentence on those who participate in online gambling.

The latest word on the street in Massachusetts is that several alternative proposals have been given to amend the legislation, including several dealing specifically with online poker. These include a provision introduced by House Representative, Robert Nyman, to provide an exception within the online gambling ban to games of skill, including online poker. Other proposals seek to ban all forms of online gambling other than online poker.

So yes, the online poker industry definitely has their fingers in this one, folks. This is no surprise considering how big online poker has become in the US over the last ten years, not to mention the lobbying power of groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Just how the final bill turns out in Massachusetts is anybody’s guess, although proponents of the original bill are already claiming victory. Their belief is that the bill will easily pass the House, and will, perhaps, see some amendments in the Senate.

As for the federal debate on online gambling, it looks like Barney Frank’s bills to overturn the UIGEA and provide regulatory guidelines is being postponed for a hearing to take place in the House Financial Services Committee. By no means up for a markup (just yet), the two bills will be scheduled for a hearing in due time as the Committee tends to previously scheduled matters.

Massachusets Congressman Seeks to Criminalize Gambling at Online Casinos

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Just when you thought there couldn’t be more drama and underhanded politics in the U.S. online gambling scene, Massachusetts steps up to the plate once again. Reminiscent of the betrayal of Senator Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, Massachusetts citizens could soon find themselves in a position of making another doe-doe brain political decision.

Actually, the decision would be more in the hands of Massachusetts elected officials. Unlike the election of Ted Kennedy’s replacement, the latest issue at hand involves the passing of a newly released bill calling for the illegalization of online casino gambling. What makes the issue even “hotter”, so to speak, is the fact that Speaker Robert DeLeo is attempting to fast track the bill, in effect, glossing over more controversial terms related to online gambling.

The bill primarily seeks to license two brick ‘n mortar casinos and give horseracing tracks the right to offer casino-style slot machines. However, on page 123 of the bill, there is a small, little provision calling for the imprisonment (up to two years) and/or a $25,000 fine for anyone who “knowingly transmits or receives a wager of any type by any telecommunication device, including cellular phone, internet….”.

So yes, Congressman Robert DeLeo is attempting to not only make it illegal to gamble at online casinos, he is attempting to make it possible to punish those that choose to gamble online rather than wager at the land-based casinos he is working on behalf of. Really folks, this is hypocrisy and protectionism at its finest.

The good news is that the bill doesn’t necessarily stand a great chance at being passed. Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, unsuccessfully attempted to create three new brick ‘n mortar casinos while outlawing online gambling just a couple of years ago. Now, Patrick thinks that DeLeo’s bill should receive a proper public hearing and debate, while DeLeo is of the mindset that the bill should go forward without a vote.