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Internet gambling not excluded in latest Massachusetts gambling bill

Internet gambling not excluded in latest Massachusetts gambling bill

Thursday saw the introduction in the Massachusetts State House of the House Speaker's plan to bring two land casinos to Massachusetts. And interestingly there appears to be no exclusion of intra-state Internet gambling.

The Boston television station WBZ reports the introduction of the land casinos could give state budgeters a partial fix to the Massachsetts state financial woes. And at the State House there's mounting pressure from organised labour and its allies to get expanded gambling through the Legislature.

WBZ points out that there could be a potential problem with the new bill sponsored by House Speaker Robert DeLeo: it contains no ban on Internet gambling.

That's a restriction sought by Governor Deval Patrick in his ill-fated 2007 casino proposal. States with which Massachusetts will be competing like Nevada and New Jersey, ban Internet betting, although moves are afoot in the latter to change the situation.

WBZ reports that Internet gambling revenue from U.S. players in 2008 was just shy of $6 billion, nearly 18 percent of what commercial land casinos took in the previous year. It asks whether legalised web gambling could undercut land casino revenues in tech-savvy Massachusetts.

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