Massachusetts State Senator Michael F. Rush presented a budgetary amendment to the state senate recently which would have expanded online gambling in the state, but this amendment was rejected by the Senate during budget deliberations. The Local Aid Lottery Expansion by Rush would have allowed the lottery commission to authorize and direct the implementation of online games of skill.
The amendment would have included but not been limited to “fantasy sports, so-called, poker, so-called, and other games of skill.” According to a recent report by Steve Ruddock at Bluff, with the rejection by the Senate, the state of Massachusetts would most likely be at least a year from expanding online gaming options. Advocates of online gambling were hoping that the state would be able to begin to compete with neighboring states including Delaware and New Jersey.
Hopes were high in the state for expanded gambling as back in March the gaming commission of the state had an online gaming hearing and forum that provided optimism on the subject. However, once the hearing was over, those involved began to speak for caution with the option. The Budget Amendment by Rush was a last minute attempt to offer extended gaming in the state. However, the amendment would have had to move through the State Senate as well as the House, and then made the compromise budget which was produced by the senate and the House.
This is not the first bill to have been introduced in the state over the past year or so and is not the first to be rejected. From bills seeking all out legalization for online gaming to state lottery and more, nothing has been able to gain footing in the state. For now, the state of Massachusetts will be taking the approach of waiting to see how the industry develops in the United States. The state will also be working on their live casino gaming options before moving into the iGaming industry.
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