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Massachusetts Takes a Harsh Stance Against Online Gambling

Gamers in Massachusetts have learned that a new law is to come into place to crack down on illegal gambling activity throughout the state. The Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, confirmed that the office will be enforcing fresh regulations in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to root out illegal online activity. The move arrives in the wake of recent emergency measures which set out to expose illegitimate establishments posing as reputable retailers. Those found to be in violation of the law could now be subject to civil penalties and injunctions.

Massachusetts has introduced new laws to target illegal gambling at cyber cafes throughout the state

The emergency regulation, which first appeared in April of this year, has aroused significant criticism – sparking a wave of controversy throughout the region. The operator of Springfield, Mass., a cyber cafe, challenged the introduction of the law which, it said, unfairly curtailed its business. Others have spoken in support of the bill’s introduction – noting the increasing prevalence of “cyber cafes” offering access to video slot machines and gambling services. Gamers reportedly pay with a swipe cards, accruing points which are subsequently redeemable for real cash. Many convenience stores are also known to offer “phone card” lottery machines where prizes can be won by via lottery, sweepstakes, or a poker titles.

Commenting on the decision, Coakley announced that the measures would be responsible for enforcing “long standing gambling laws” and would play a fundamental role in safeguarding consumer interests. “The regulation makes clear that companies cannot skirt our laws by disguising them as something else”, she said. “These establishments were illegal when they started , and they are illegal now”.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.