Online Poker Players Targeted in New

Massachusetts Bill

Written by Roger S | Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

While it was considered good news for a while that Massachusetts was on the right path when it came to gambling legislation, a further blow was dealt to online poker fans when they learned that they are being specifically targeted in one of the clauses of the bill.The bill, introduced by House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Thursday, essentially criminalizes online gambling and poker. A vote will be called for the bill within a fortnight.

On the surface, the bill looks promising enough. It calls for the issuing of two casino licenses in Massachusetts for $100 million each, while four slot machine licenses at a cost of $15 million each will be issued. The advantages of the bill are the revenue that will be “directed toward community colleges, tourism, programs, schools and the state’s rainy day fund.”

However, those who read the 172 page bill will start to note the clear agenda that Robert DeLeo has against online poker and gambling sites. Page 123 reads: “Any person who knowingly transmits or receives a wager of any type by any telecommunication device, including telephone, cellular phone, internet, [or] local area network… or knowingly installs or maintains said device or equipment for the transmission or receipt of wagering information shall be punished.”

This means that anyone who goes against the law could potentially find him or herself behind bars for up to two years and/or paying a fine of up to $25,000.

The bill goes on to state that the clause applies to “any person who, from within the Commonwealth, transmits a wager to, or receives a wager from, another person or gaming establishment within or outside of the Commonwealth”.

The only exception to this rule are authorities from Massachusetts who are at online poker or gambling sites in the line of duty, investigating illegal gaming operations.

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