Massachusetts Gaming Bill Causes Concern
April 6, 2022
Thanks to a successful committee vote yesterday, on the so-called DeLeo bill (named after it’s main sponsor House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo), Massachusetts is now one significant step closer to licensing two new resort sized casinos in the state and allowing their four struggling race tracks to add up to 750 new slot machines, yet if the current bill goes through unchanged, it could prove disastrous for the state’s many gamblers.

This seemingly counterintuitive statement, is primarily due to a small anti-online gambling segment of the 172 page bill (Section 36, v), which basically criminalizes online poker along with all other forms of online wagering, with penalties of up to 2 years in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both, if players are convicted.

Obviously such a section no matter how buried in the text is going to get the attention of the Poker Players Alliance, poker’s leading grassroots advocacy group, and indeed apparently the organization has been working on the issue for some time and have now even gone so far as to give assurances on the popular Two Plus Two forums that this section of the DeLeo bill will be removed by Friday at the latest; assurances many would feel better about, if the PPA hadn’t said something similar five days earlier, only to discover the anti-online gambling section was still included when the committee voted on the bill yesterday.

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