Massachusetts Proposes Internet Gambling
The state of Massachusetts in the United States is seriously thinking about regulating its intrastate internet gambling albeit in a more restricted way.
The proposed Bill S.132 was filed by State Senator Michael Rush in January 2011. The bill made headline news again since a local newspaper the West Roxbury Patch reported on the hearing recently in front of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional censure. The bill enables the Massachusetts Lottery Commission to launch a two-year internet gambling pilot program.
Those in support of the bill claim that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could yield an annual net revenue as much as $1 billion from the program. Senator Rush said that regulated intrastate internet gambling via its lottery program would be safer for Massachusetts citizens instead of them placing their bets at foreign internet casinos.
The bill aims to impose the same prepaid player accounts to the model used in Canada. This will allow the State to supervise all gambling activities such as prevent minors from gambling and clamp down on problem gambling. The pilot program plans to do the following: the Massachusetts Lottery Commission would be explore Internet sales channels, employ the latest technology and delivery mechanisms and make use of innovations not offered in the past. The planned pilot program will last for two years. Eighteen months into the program a comprehensive report on the findings would be presented to the state government.
State Senator Rush’s chief of staff, John Regan said, “Massachusetts paves the way when it comes to innovation in state lottery gaming and I believe that to continue to do so means adding robust internet lottery gaming to its current offerings. This is more than just allowing the purchase of lottery tickets through the internet; this is a new way of playing the lottery via new internet games of chance.”
Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman has his reservations pertaining to the sale of lottery tickets online alongside games of chance would entail the payment or collection of cash for internet gaming through U.S banks by credit card. This would be in direct contravention with the provisions set forth in the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The Massachusetts Lottery Commission officials disputed this claim, who stated that five US states, New York, Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland and North Dakota, presently sell lottery tickets via the internet. Grossman later said that the measure should be passed by the legislature in spite of his concerns. He added, “One can clearly see that Washington is moving toward internet gambling. Should Congress regulate the industry, Massachusetts aims to be one of the first States to tap into this resource, instead of being one of the states left behind.”
In 2010 requirements that enable intrastate online gambling had to be dropped from a larger bill on gambling. The bill endeavours to establish new land casinos passed by the state House and Senate, unfortunately the governor vetoed it.[addtoany]