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Gov. Patricks Plans to Ban Mobile Gaming in Massachusetts
On November 10th, 2007, Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing to make Internet gaming illegal for the residents of Massachusetts even as he pushes for his plan to allow three casino facilities in Massachusetts. A part of Patrick's bill to permit casinos proposes a 2-prison term and a fine of $25,000 for people who place gamble online.
Gov. Patrick's plan drew opposition from fellow Democrat, U.S. Representative Frank Barney, who is backing a federal proposal to regulate online gaming all over the country. David Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas commented that the provision was included to make the licenses more interesting for gaming organizations by not allowing online competition.
The officials of Gov. Patrick decline to comment on the Governor's reason for the proposal and Frank's criticism. Kofi Jones, the spokeswoman of the governor's chief adviser, Daniel O'Connell commented some of the provisions of the governor's planned casino resorts proposal seek to clear the regulations relating to gambling in the state of Massachusetts including gambling on the Internet. Gov. Patrick's casino proposal has already been introduced at the Statehouse but it is not expected to discuss next year.
It would allow three casino facilities on the state and casino developers would bid for the casino licenses. Gov. Patrick said that it would produce a ten year licensing fees of $200 million to $300 million for each casino facility.
Federal law clearly does not allow wagering using telephone lines and the U.S. Department of Justice has understood this as not allowing all kinds of online gaming. But the government's policy has been to prosecute the operators of the sites, not the players. Patrick's proposal would hold both sides responsible for the gaming transaction. It would be effective to anyone in the state who places a wager of any type using a telephone, mobile phone, the World Wide Web or even LANs.
If the state of Massachusetts adopts the ban, it would be like the states of Utah, Nevada and Washington. The PPA or the Poker Players Alliance said that they are in favor of the casino plans but will oppose the online gaming ban. Randy Castonguay, the director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Poker Players Alliance said that the plan of Gov. Patrick does not make any sense.
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