Big News! Massachusetts Passes Online Poker Amendment

By Debra SaundersGoogle


In a controversial move, Republican Representative Daniel Winslow proposed an amendment to expand land based gambling in his state of Massachusetts.  The bill passed with flying colors getting 123 votes for and only 32 votes against.  While this is big news, as with any bureaucratic process, this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a long way to go before any major policy change is made and carried out.


The vote will now be presented to members of the Massachusetts Senate (the date is currently set for September 26th).  The online poker amendment is insignificant (and late-coming) in the bigger scheme of things regarding the different versions of the land based gambling bill that is set to be voted upon.  If the law does pass then Massachusetts gaming commissions will have to work towards outlining the laws that will be associated with issuing licenses for online poker operators and factoring in different state and federal tax issues.  The committee responsible for taking care of this would be asked to present a report of their suggested models only at the end of July 2012.   If the bill (and the amendment) is not dismissed then the earliest that any sort of state-licensed and regulated online poker room would only possibly go live by the end of 2013. 


Federal legislation regarding online poker is also being revisited, especially in light of the recent statements made regarding Full Tilt Poker’s owners running a global Ponzi scheme worth over $400 million.  In order to promote legal online gambling and to protect players, many lawmakers are calling for better federal regulation of online poker which could allow online gambling operators to have to adhere to certain regulations in order to be licensed by the federal government. 

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