Massachusetts Set to Finalize Gambling Bill

Massachusetts Set to Finalize Gambling Bill

Posted on 11/10/11 - by Theodor Mavrodis News

Massachusetts is set to finalize and vote on a gambling bill within the week that would pave the way for the first ever casinos in the state.

The proposed bill would allow for one slots-only parlor as well as three resort-style casinos to open in Massachusetts, which is poised to add US casinos to compete with nearby states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Once the bill is finalized it must still be voted on and passed but many feel that is a formality, with support very strong in the state to add legalized gambling in casinos.

While Massachusetts has a strong tourism industry some of those dollars leave the state to casinos in neighboring states. Like many US states struggling to generate every tax dollar possible, much of the current support for adding casinos is driven by dollars and cents.

The bill is potentially good news for online gamblers as well, as one of the amendments attached to the legislation would begin the process to "analyze and develop recommendations and model legislation" for online poker and potentially for online casinos.

Massachusetts Republican Dan Winslow, who was responsible for the online poker amendment believes it  will generate additional revenues and create jobs in the state’s technology sector.

"This one, I think, is a great opportunity for Massachusetts to take the lead. No state in the country has yet enacted legislation to authorize and regulate Internet poker," Winslow said.

The District of Columbia has already approved a similar bill -- but not yet implemented it -- and other states such as California, Nevada, and New Jersey have investigated launching intra-state online poker sites open only to state residents.