MA Governor Deval Patrick

Last week, Massachusetts became the 40th state in the United States to legalize casino gambling. The event witnessed Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sign a bill that makes casino gambling legal to state residents.

The bill allows a maximum of three resort-style casinos, one in the Boston area, one in the Western region and one in the Southeastern region of the state; there will also be a slots parlor. The casinos will be modeled on the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, focusing on a model with upscale shops, high-end restaurants and other top-class entertainment venues. It is believed that the slots parlor will be running in a year and that the casinos will be launched in a period of 3 to 5 years.

Expectations are very high on the moving forward of this bill and the implementation of it by the state of Massachusetts. Governor Patrick has been a long time supporter of legalized gambling, “I never have had a moral objection to gambling,” he said at the signing. “I respect those who have a moral objection, but I am not one of them.”

Lawmakers and supporters of the bill stood victorious at the signing of the bill, given that getting to this point took strong lobbying from the casino industry and making several small amendments to the bill multiple times. All supporters of the bill believe this will be a great opportunity to gather revenue for the state that was being lost to gambling venues in neighboring states, and that this is a superb opportunity to open up long-term job vacancies at the gambling venues.

What does this mean for online gambling?

Members of the online gambling industry are anxiously waiting for the moment in which their bills will be approved by state governors and members of the US House of Representatives. However, this must be done in small steps and the bill that was just signed in Massachusetts can be taken as a role model for future online gambling bill-drafting by lawmakers.

The singing of a bill that legalizes gambling means something big for us in the online gambling industry, mainly because of the connotations gambling carries around and the effect that signing a bill to legalize gambling can have on them. Since the mid 20th century, when gambling established itself as an underground form of entertainment, there has been a taboo around it being a legal form of entertainment. The legalization of gambling as an activity in 40 states across the country removes the taboo in a lot of ways, and points the gambling industry as a whole in a very positive direction.

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