Internet bill drafted in Massachusetts

Dec 7, 2015 10:04 AM

Internet gaming may be the next step for Massachusetts casinos if a bill introduced by a Republican leader in the Senate is successful.

A bill filed by Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, would allow casinos licensed in the state to engage in Internet gaming as is now the case in New Jersey and Delaware, but Internet legislation has also been discussed in other states in the Northeast.

The Plainridge Park Casino operated by Penn National Gaming in Plainview is currently Massachusetts’ only operating casino, but MGM and Wynn Resorts are building facilities in Springfield and the Boston area, respectively.

Tarr told reporters, “Our state has chosen to pursue casino gaming and is licensing operators to enter a fiercely competitive market that is much more fully developed in other states. Allowing those we are counting on to produce revenue for Massachusetts will give them a competitive advantage and increase their chances of success.”

A Penn National spokesman said the company supports the authorization of Internet gaming providing it complements Penn’s investment in the bricks and mortar casinos and the jobs Plainridge and other casinos will create.

Pennsylvania and New York lawmakers have also discussed the possibilities for legalizing Internet gaming, but the evolutionary process does not usually move rapidly.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].