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Online Casino News - MA Seeks Tough Online Gambling Penalties

MA Seeks Tough Online Gambling Penalties

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

November 14, 2007

Can you imagine going to jail for two years for the “crime” of enjoying a bit of internet casino play? Apparently, legislators in the American state of Massachusetts can. Major national newspaper The Boston Globe reported a few days ago that lawmakers in The Bay State are so disturbed by the concept of online casinos and online gambling that they have put forth an effort to punish “offenders” severely – and the state Governor, Deval Patrick, supports the measure. Licensed land-based gambling is legal in Massachusetts, and, ironically enough, the same bill that would make online casino gambling a jailable offense also contains approval for the construction of three new land casinos in the state.

Obviously, the owners and operators of some of the biggest online casinos around are up in arms about Massachusetts’ hypocrisy. Gambling expert David G. Schwartz, who holds the title of director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told a Globe reporter that it was fairly obvious that lawmakers were trying to arrange a monopoly for “their” casinos, off which the government draws sizeable tax revenues. Online gambling at internet casinos yield the state nothing, so it’s not exactly “cynical” (as Schwartz sarcastically termed it) to get to the conclusion that money was really at the root of the legislators’ move against online casinos.

Of course, legislators –and online gambling foes in general- will say that online casinos jeopardize players’ finances and personal lives with their unchecked access to gaming and potential for losing money. No-one seems to have an answer for the quandary of how internet casino play makes this problem any worse than land-casino play, however.

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