As more states begin to look into online gambling, Massachusetts is ready to take its turn. Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) has filed a bill that would allow licensed casinos in the state to offer Internet gambling options.
“Our state has chosen to pursue casino gaming, and is licensing operators to enter a fiercely competitive national market that is much more fully developed in other states,” said Tarr.
He went on to say that, “Allowing those we are counting on to produce revenue for Massachusetts and our cities and towns to conduct online gaming will give them a competitive advantage, and increase their chances of success. That success, in turn, can deliver substantial benefits through funding for our spending priorities and our budgets.”
Currently, Penn National Gaming owns the Plainridge casino, which boasts of over 1000 slot machines as well as horseracing and additional gaming options.
Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers explains how the company “support[s] the authorization of Internet gaming to the extent it protects the economic investment the brick-and-mortar casinos have made in the state and the jobs we’ve created. Other states have addressed this through legislation that would restrict Internet gaming to only those existing licensed casino operators in the state.”
To date, the Plainridge casino is the states’ only operating gambling facility. However, the Wampanoag Native American tribe has plans to build a casino in Taunton, and there is also an application pending for a casino to be built in Brockton. This bill would allow these future casinos to also invest in online gambling if they wish.
Whether or not the bill by Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) gets passed we have yet to see. Either way, it is adding to the many examples of how state officials believe that online gambling is an important option for state revenue.