Online Gaming Study to Begin in Massachusetts Today

Back in August, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts signed economic development legislation that would see the creation of a special commission to study online gaming in many forms. By law, the first meeting of the group is to take place today. The Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports will be meeting today to begin the process of studying online gaming, as experts in the industry as well as lawmakers come together to begin the study that could pave the way for legislation being created in the state.

The commission will be led by Representative Joseph Wagner and Senator Eileen Donoghue who are the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. The group will study online gaming regulation as well as daily fantasy sports and fantasy sports, according to information provided by the State House News Service. Included in the study will be:

  • Economic Development
  • Consumer Protections
  • Taxation
  • Legal Structures
  • Regulatory Structures
  • Benefits/Burdens to the Commonwealth
  • And additional relevant factors

The commission must provide a final report as well as legislation recommendations by the 31st of July 2017. The commission is not to include a state lottery comprehensive review or the ability to offer lottery products online.

Members of the commission include:

  • Steve Crosby Gaming Commission Chairman
  • Senator Jennifer Flanagan
  • Represenative James Kelcourse
  • Assistant Attorney General Dan Krockmalnic
  • Additional members of the commission are to be chosen but no names have been announced as of yet.

Massachusetts is one of several states considering legislation for online gambling. New York, Pennsylvania, California and Michigan are also looking into the industry. As far as Massachusetts is concerned, it will be at least until 2017 when the report by the new commission will be complete and depending on the findings, legislation for the industry could be introduced at this time. We may see Massachusetts be the next in line to pass legislation for online if other interested states do not move first.

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