Online Gambling Bills in California and Massachusetts
Let's start off by taking a look at the two bills that have been introduced in Massachusetts. These bills would legalizes online lottery sales and a scattering of casino games. There's some strange wording in the first bill proposed by Senator Bruce Tarr that would have legalized games as long as they don't look like slots or appear to be in direct conflict with anything offered by the state lottery. Along side this the other bill, Senate Bill 101 would permit the sale of online lottery tickets and both bills would allow for interstate partnerships which is something that we will see more of now. This is a fairly big step for Massachusetts as at present there no land based casino and gambling is hardly high on the agenda. The thumbs up was given in 2011 for the opening of three casinos and a slots room however licenses have yet to be granted. That bill back in 2011 was significant as tacked onto the back of it was the initial internet gambling bill and lawmakers refused to pass the bill as a whole until the online additions were removed from it.
California tries Again
Following in the footsteps of Massachusetts there's also a bill been proposed in California. Senators Steinberg and Wright have proposed a bill which would allow online poker to be played within the state. With California facing a tough budgeting crisis and needed to raise some extra revenue then it's hoped bill SB 1463 can assist. The framework along with all T's and C's need to be put in place and then if the green light is given operators will be asked to pay a licensing fee of $30 Million which is credited against gross revenue for three years. Initially only poker would be allowed under the bill, however after a two year period, if successful then other games could be added. It's the second time round for Senator Wright but there have been a few changes in the Dept of Justice so hopefully this one will be more successful. The major issue in California are the tribes that own the casinos. Many are all for the bill however many are not saying that they could not compete if internet giants invaded their market. The casinos generate millions in tax revenue and also contribute to political campaigns meaning that if they are not in full support then many politician would have to think twice about the bill.