Two More States Introduce Online Gambling Bills

It appears that 2013 may be the year when a fair amount of states in the US start thinking seriously about the legalization of Online Gambling. With Nevada leading the way and California and Delaware not far behind now Mississippi and Massachusetts are both preparing to present bills.

Mississippi

Representative Bobby Moak presented an unsuccessful bid last year and despite that being given a knock back, he is ready to give it another attempt with the “The Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2013”. Initially the bill is designed to look into which types of online gambling would be acceptable and how these would be regulated and taxed. Existing online operators although not opposed to the bill are not 100% behind it due to the fact that licenses will be restricted to those already holding land based gambling licenses. There are also the fees involved and the proposed costs include a one-time $200,000 application fee and a licensing fee of $200,000 each year, with a 5% tax of gross revenue. The funds received will be made available to the Mississippi Gaming Commission and to general state funds.

Massachusetts

Jennifer L. Flanagan the Massachusetts state senator has taken the idea of online gambling a little further and an initiative introduced by treasurer Steven Grossman and if approved it's said that a pilot suite of games would be available online sometime in 2013. He did stress however that without the approval first then there would be no move forward and that all current land based lottery vendors would be involved in some way so as to make sure they lose no revenue. In a very positive statement he said, “The threat from the Internet is imminent. Doing nothing is not an option. We need to move forward and test appropriately.” Senator Flanagan who filed the legislation backed up those words with her own by saying, “This isn't a debate over whether you like gaming or not, this is a debate over the fact that we have to move to online gaming to protect state revenues.”

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