Is Massachusetts Next For Online Gambling?

Published February 12, 2014 by OCR Editor

Is Massachusetts Next For Online Gambling?

Massachusetts looks like it could be the next state to legalize online gambling, following in the footsteps of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

As of now, only three states have legalized online gambling: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Who's next? Massachusetts sure seems to be eager. Bills that were introduced in 2013 would make it possible to buy Massachusetts state lottery tickets online, as well as open state-regulated online poker and blackjack rooms.


Of course, not everyone in the government is eager to legislate online gambling. As of now, Massachusetts is in the middle of a repeal campaign to essentially undo the 2011 law that legalized actual slots and casinos. Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation said, "We don't think government should be in the business."

Massachusetts Land-Based Casinos

If Massachusetts were to legalize online gambling, the big question is, how would land-based casinos, only recently legalized themselves, fare?

Clyde W. Barrow, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, commented, claims that the two industries will target different audiences, so "it shouldn't affect it at all." In fact, online sites can serve as the "minor leagues" for people seeking to learn the game, and only once they get the hang of things will they go to real casinos.  

Is There a Market in Massachusetts?

The Center for Policy Analysis certainly thinks so. According to their survey, the majority of visitors at two of Rhode Island's popular casinos were from Massachusetts! In Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort Casino, the majority of visitors were also found to be from Massachusetts! So clearly, there is a market for both land-based casinos and online casinos.

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