Internet Poker May Be Legalized in Massachusetts
On Thursday, lawmakers in Massachusetts have introduced amendments to a bill that would grant licenses to online poker operators, according to Gaming Intelligence. The bill is sponsored by 18 politicians two years after the U.S. Justice Department shut down PokerStars, Full Tilt, and similar Texas Hold’em sites.
Under the new proposal, any online poker operator would have to receive a Category 3 license. A maximum of three online poker operator licenses would be granted and it would be valid for ten years.
In 2006, congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 which outlawed Internet betting sites. However, officials in Massachusetts argue that the federal law is not effective at stopping thousands of its citizens from playing internet poker through illegal offshore-based sites. Thus, they argue it should be legalized, regulated, and ultimately taxed.
Massachusetts is following in the footsteps of Illinois and New Jersey in considering granting gambling licenses to betting websites. The state ranks second in the nation with more than $80 billion in state debt.
However, it remains to be seen whether Massachusetts will legalize Internet gambling. Opponents argue that passage of such legislation would essentially place a casino in every household with an Internet connection.Continued on the next page