Casino Bill passes House, Online Poker Survives

TAGs: Casino News, dan winslow, Gambling Massachusetts, Online Poker

boston-massachusett-gambling-regulationIn a late night session at Beacon Hill, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved the Casino gambling bill by a huge margin. The bill was approved by a margin of 123-32.

The bill authorizes three “resort” style casinos and one slots only gambling parlour in the state.

Now that the bill has passed the house, the State Senate will examine the bill later this month before sending it to Governor Devel Patrick for an approval signature. Neither is expected to slow down the bill as it passed the house with bi-partisan support.

As we told you last week, Representative Dan Winslow added an amendment that would allow intrastate poker to the bill. During the voting session, Dan Winslow tweeted, “BREAKING NEWS. House approved amendment for new gaming commission to develop model legislation for Internet poker in MA.”

Congratulations Mr. Winslow. The bill had 154 amendments added, most were voted down so it’s a big step forward for Internet poker in the state of Massachusetts.

With the bill’s large bipartisan support and unlike NJ Governor Chris Christie, Devel Patrick doesn’t have presidential aspirations so if the bill passes the senate, Patrick likely won’t get the Christie Cold Feet and veto the Poker amendment.

The meat of the bill calls for the State to take bids on three casino licences. The bidding starts at $85 Million and the developer must invest $500 million into the resort style casino, which must include a hotel.

The bidding for the lone slots parlour licence begins at $25 million and the developer must invest $125 million into the facility while offering no more than 1250 slot machines.

As it stands now, Casinos would pay a 25% tax on revenues and the slots parlour would be on the hook for 40% of revenues.

It’s a good first step for online poker but as we’ve seen in NJ and California turning bills into laws can be a grind.


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