Massachusetts Online Gambling Provision Shot Down; Said to be Unconstitutional

An item in a proposed Massachusetts state budget for 2014 that would have cleared the way for the state’s casinos and slots parlor to offer online wagering has been deemed to be unconstitutional and has been removed from the State Senate’s budget amendment.

The provision would have allowed for the state’s one slots parlor and its three casinos to offer online betting so long as their games did not compete with any on offer by the Massachusetts State Lottery.

If this all sounds a little bit familiar, that’s because it is. Back in April, lawmakers in Massachusetts tried to tack online gambling onto the 2014 budget that went to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where it was ultimately stripped out just as it was in the Senate earlier this week.

No online gambling, but land-based moves forward

Massachusetts legislators have long had an interest in offering online gambling to residents, and have been proposing legislation to that end since 2011. While nothing has yet to advance, the state is moving forward with land-based casino expansion.

Later this month, a public referendum will be held with regard to a casino hotel project being developed by none other than the man who is eponymous with modern luxury gaming, Steve Wynn. He has proposed to build a massive waterfront hotel, casino, and convention space that he has assured Bostonians will be the finest and most glamorous hotel in the city once complete.

The new Wynn property will be situated on a piece of property in the city of Everett, which lies just beyond the borders of Boston. For years the parcel was home to a Monsanto chemical processing facility, and as a result is currently badly polluted. Wynn and his team have pledged to clean up the property and have warned that should their plan fall through, it is unlikely that another party will come along to restore it any time in the near future.

Problems with proposal unclear

While multiple news sources in both the poker media as well as the mainstream media quickly jumped on the news that once again an Internet gambling regulation attempt was thwarted in the Bay State, few details emerged to explain why the proposal was declared unconstitutional.

Spring saw little legislative success in advancing Internet wagering

With summer just kicking off, it is unlikely that there will be much legislative action with regard to the issue of online gaming in the coming months. In that sense, the months ahead will be similar to the spring months just passed, in which across the nation very little progress was made in terms of advancing the state of online gambling regulation.

While 2013 has seen states from coast to coast pondering the notion of allowing online gambling, with places like California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, and Louisiana all exploring the issue, thus far no progress has been made toward expanding real money online gambling in the United States.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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