Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Massachusetts Casino Bill

...read the fine print!

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has introduced a proposal to the state legislature that would allow three resort-style casinos in the state. Revenue filtered to the government from the establishments would be earmarked towards roads and bridges as well as property tax relief for the state’s residents. Of course, any gambling proposal is polarizing, with strong opinions on both sides of the issue.

Interestingly, and perhaps disturbingly, one section of the proposal that has been getting no mention in the local press seems to outlaw internet gambling. Below is the relevant text, taken directly from the proposal:

(i) Placing, sending, transmitting, relaying wagers to another person prohibited under certain circumstances; penalties.
Any person who knowingly transmits or receives a wager of any type by any telecommunication device, including telephone, cellular phone, Internet, local area network, including wireless local networks, or any other similar device or equipment or other medium of communication, or knowingly installs or maintains said device or equipment for the transmission or receipt of wagering information shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 years, or a fine of not more than $25,000, or both.
This section shall apply to any person who, from within this commonwealth, transmits a wager to, or receives a wager from, another person or gaming establishment within or outside of this commonwealth and any person who, from outside this commonwealth, transmits a wager to, or receives a wager from, another person or gaming establishment within this commonwealth.
This section shall not apply to the use of a local area network as a means to place authorized wagers in a licensed gaming establishment, or use of said devices or equipment by the authority in it duties in regulating, enforcing, or auditing a licensed gaming operator.

Thus, internet gambling will be illegal if this proposal becomes law. What this is essentially saying is that unless the state can profit from your gambling, you may not do it. It remains to be seen how the government would ever know and if anyone would ever get sentenced to two years in prison, but it is sad that this provision is in the proposal, nonetheless.

-- Graciously ripped verbatim from PSO

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