Online Gaming Bill in the State of Massachusetts

A pilot program will be implemented in the State of Massachusetts to regulate intrastate online gambling.

The State of Massachusetts will contemplate regulated intrastate online gambling, as recent news reveal. State Senator Michael Rush filled the proposal by way of Bill S. 132 in January 2011. The bill is fresh news again due to the report of West Roxbury Patch of a hearing early this week, in front of the Joint Committee for Consumer for Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. Therefore, Massachusetts Lottery Commission is authorized to conduct a 2 year online gambling pilot program.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts can expect $1 billion yearly from the program. According to Senator Rush, regulated intrastate online gambling is safer for the residents than offshore operators. Prepaid player accounts, like the ones in Canada, will allow the State to monitor gambling activity, perform age verification and minimize gambling related incidents.

Within the pilot program, Massachusetts Lottery Commission will explore Internet sales channels, evaluate new technologies and delivery mechanisms and implement new innovations. The pilot program will have a 25 months life span and reports on the results will be delivered to the state government for 18 months.

Ronald Regan, State Senator Rush’s chief of staff sustains the addition of robust online lottery gaming as an interactive way of playing the lottery through new online games of chance.

According to Steve Grossman, the sales of lottery tickets online will involve the payment or collection of funds for online gaming, which violates the provisions of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This assertion was disputed by the Massachusetts Lottery commissions, being that there are five US states that currently sell lottery tickets online.

Later on, Grossman suggested that the measure should be implemented despite his claim, adding that Massachusetts should be the first state to take advantage of the regulation, if it is accepted by the Congress.

In the year 2010, a bill of gambling seeking to establish new land casinos was passed by the State House and Senate, but it was rejected by the governor.