Massachusetts Senate Buries Online Gambling Bill

12/19/2011
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

About a year ago, Dan Winslow, a State Representative for the Ninth Norfolk district of Massachusetts, added an online gambling clause to a gambling bill that, in its inception, was only supposed to allow for the building of new land-based casinos.  What got Massachusetts online gaming hopefuls even more excited was that the bill was subsequently passed in the State House of Representatives.  However, to the dismay of those potential gamblers, when the bill reached the Senate, the entire clause allowing for online gambling was removed before the bill was passed.

 

The protocol for dealing with a discrepancy between two versions of a bill is to create a bipartisan committee that will decide on one version for both houses and resubmit the bill for final voting.  The six-member committee chose the Senate’s version of the bill, the version without the articles allowing for online gambling in Massachusetts.  The final version was subsequently ratified in both the House and Senate, though it has yet to be signed into law by Governor Deval.  Nonetheless, it is safe to say that online gambling clauses are buried, and the only hope for Massachusetts online gamblers is to push for brand new legislation.

 

As far as the land based casinos are concerned, the bill is a great success.  As a result of the bill, three new casinos are going to be built in Massachusetts.  This is expected to add 15,000 new positions to the local job market, as well as rake in about 300 million dollars for the state coffers in annual tax revenue.  The bill also includes a unique twist – all the legislators who were involved with the bill are not allowed to work for the casinos until after a one year waiting period starting from the completion of their last term in office.

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