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Massachusetts Gets New Push For Internet Gambling Legislation

An unexpected push to legalize online betting in Massachusetts was introduced this week as the House introduced an amendment to the state's budget that would license three intrastate card rooms.

Sixteen members of the state's House introduced the amendment, with Representatives Jones of North Reading; Peterson of Grafton; Hill of Ipswich; Poirier of North Attleborough; Barrows of Mansfield; Beaton of Shrewsbury; Boldyga of Southwick; Durant of Spencer; Ferguson of Holden; Gifford of Wareham; Harrington of Groton; Howitt of Seekonk; Humason of Westfield; Hunt of Sandwich; Kuros of Uxbridge; Mirra of West Newbury; Smola of Palmer and Wong of Saugus all voting to allow the amendment to be added to the state's budget.

Under the language of the amendment, the state would require prospective operators to post up $10 million for a licensing fee, although this money would be credited back against GGR taxes during the room's first two years in operators. Additionally, the bill would call for monthly fees to be paid to the state. Furthermore, a "bad actor" clause would keep out any offshore poker firm that violated the UIGEA, which was passed in October of 2006.

Those interested in reading the amendment in whole can do so at: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H3400/Amendment/House/365/O...

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