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Massachusetts Treasurer Blasts Online Poker Bill
Thursday November 1, 2012 : MASSACHUSETTS TREASURER BLASTS REID-KYL ONLINE POKER PROPOSAL
Gross claims that proposed federal law threatens the Massachusetts lottery and nearly $1 billion in state profits.
More opposition to the Reid-Kyl federal online poker legalisation proposal has surfaced in the United States, this time in Massachusetts, where state treasurer Steve Grossman fears that bans on other forms of online wagering enshrined in the bill could impact the state lottery.
Grossman, who is also chair of the Massachusetts Lottery Commission, said in a letter to Reid and co-sponsor Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona this week that the bill sharply limits states' abilities to regulate online gambling inside their borders, and could impact state lottery profits that last year reached almost a billion dollars.
The Reid-Kyl bill seeks to legalise online poker, but also carries a ban on other forms of online gambling, and has been the subject of criticism that it favours Reid's home state of Nevada.
In his letter to Reid and Kyl, Grossman noted: "The proposed act would effectively limit participation in the online gaming marketplace to gaming operations with a presence in Nevada and sharply constrain the ability of state lotteries to offer online products."
Massachusetts is considering the sale of its lottery tickets online, but has yet to make a decision for the state operation, which last year had $4.7 billion in revenue and profit of $982 million that was largely turned over to the state's cities and towns.
Grossman claims that the Reid-Kyl bill would forbid online sales of instant scratch and Keno chances "that are responsible for more than 85 percent of the Lottery's sales," and that the proposed bill's limits served no business purpose.
"Accordingly, we can only assume that the act is a blatant, unwarranted and inappropriate attempt to secure first-mover advantage in the online gaming space for Nevada," Grossman said.
State governors, through a letter from the National Governors Association, last week also attacked the Reid-Kyl bill
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