Three Online Poker Rooms for Massachusetts?
The next state in the US taking online poker seriously is the fine state of Massachusetts. Budget plans have been drawn up and within them there is a call for the state to allow for intrastate online poker. As well as mentioning that Massachusetts will only permit a maximum of three rooms to operate they have also added a bad actor clause in the proposed amendment that prohibits any company being given a license that accepted online wagers from within the US after UIGEA was bought into being. The Bad Actor Clause in Nevada is similar however that clause has placed the cut off date for accepting wagers as the 31st December 2006, giving those who were doing so over a two month get out clause. Along with the bad actor clause Massachusetts has also included, that assets that were used pre UIGEA such as Poker Software etc will not be permitted.
Licensing fees would be set at a sum of at least $10 Million and these would be credited against online gaming revenue fees that are paid back to the state during the first 2 years of operation. There will also a monthly fee after the $10 Million has been paid however this is yet to be decided upon. The one clause in the proposal that may come under a little scrutiny is the 'bad faith' clause. If the company has not launched a live gaming product within the 30 day period of having the license granted, then they would incur a $25 Million fine as the state would deem this as the company having “acted in bad faith in delaying commencement of internet gaming operations.” This would however mean that companies intending to do business in the state would have all I's dotted and T's well and truly crossed before entering into a deal. It's taken almost 18 months for things to get to this stage in Massachusetts and let's hope things move a little faster now that the ball is rolling.