As if legalizing slot machines and Vegas-style casinos isn’t enough, state Rep. Daniel Winslow (R-Norfolk) believes now is a good time to legalize online poker games. Under his plan, if approved, Massachusetts would become the first state in the U.S. to regulate internet poker and, according to Winslow, tap into a significant revenue source.
Though Federal law prohibits games of chance on the internet, Winslow incredulously claims that poker does not fall under this law because “it is a game of skill.” Winslow further claims that in addition to tax revenue, it would create jobs in the high tech sector.
MFI is strongly opposed to this amendment, as well as the entire expanded predatory gambling package. It is well-documented that communities within a 50-mile radius of a casino experience the negative effects, while usually only the host community gets the supposed financial benefits (which are tempered by many negative consequences). Legalizing online poker sends the wrong message to children, and opens the door for abuse and addiction. Massachusetts should not be endorsing proposals that play off of human weaknesses, and prey on those that have the least amount to give.