Around one month ago there was an amendment made to the Massachusetts House Budget to include a small section that would provide authorization for online gaming along with allocating any revenue that was derived from it. The addition included that the state could provide three licenses and that the licenses would be allocated to companies that have not accepted wagers from anywhere within the US after October 13th 2006, the date of UIGEA was signed. Licenses would have cost $10 million along with monthly fees and have a 10 year validity. However, that was a month ago and that version never made the final cut but there is now news of another provision will be in place in a Massachusetts Senate Budget proposal and has the full support of several prominent Republicans.
The Taunton Daily Gazette has reported that after looking at the state revenue that could and would be provided from such a bill, then this is now being seriously considered, however as yet there is no mainstream news regarding it and the proposal has not yet been added to the budget bill. Let's take this with a pinch of salt and as we all know that there are many things that are considered when proposals are being put together, and indeed many of those considerations don't make the cut. We have yet to see how serious the state of Massachusetts is regarding online gambling. The reported numbers being thrown around are that the fee of $10 million has been dropped to $300,000 and away are the monthly fees that will be replaced by an annual fee of $150,000 and that these licenses would only be up for grabs by the states existing slots parlors license holders, with a revenue tax set at 20%. The fee seems extremely low and even if the go ahead were to be given, then there would be an extreme amount of work to do with only existing license holders being able to apply for licenses. Most observers are simply sitting back on this one and waiting to see what, if anything happens and until then residents of Massachusetts have some great options available to them when playing online poker, such as Bovada Poker and BetOnline Poker both of which welcome players from around the US.
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