On the heels of its decision to award the sole slots parlor license to Penn National Gaming, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is prepared to make headlines again. This time for its scheduled educational forum on Internet gaming. Specifically, on March 11, 2014, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold an all-day forum where industry experts and members of the Massachusetts legislature will present on a wide array of Internet gaming topics.
Scheduled panelists include executives from slot machine manufacturers, Internet gaming service providers, traditional brick and mortar casinos as well as regulators from various U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. Notably, regulators from Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey will serve as panelists – the three states where some form of Internet gaming has been legalized. The various panels at the forum will address such topics as: the comparison between Internet and social gaming; the legal status of Internet gaming globally, in the U.S. and in Massachusetts; risks stemming from money laundering, problem gaming and verification; challenges and successes of Internet Gaming in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Canada; and the coexistence of Internet gaming, lotteries and traditional casinos.
While this forum does not mean that Massachusetts will be the next state to jump on the Internet gaming bandwagon, it does show that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission recognizes that the spread of Internet gaming is inevitable and that the Commonwealth must be prepared. As they have done with all aspects of the brick-and-mortar casino application process, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission likely will leave no stone unturned and welcome an open dialogue of all things Internet gaming before making any recommendation to the Massachusetts legislature.
We will update this blog with key developments regarding Internet gaming in Massachusetts.