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poker2.jpgA bill to grant three casino licenses in Massachusetts was voted down in the House after significant opposition from the Speaker of the House, Salvatore DiMasi and several other representatives. The bill had contained a provision that would ban online poker in an effort to divert money into the casinos, thereby becoming revenue for the state of Massachusetts. Governal Deval Patrick strongly supported the bill, but it was voted down. Now rumors are circulating that the bill will return, but without the provision that would ban online poker.

The provision to ban online poker proved to be influential in causing the vote to fail, as a member on the committee studying the bill abstained from the committee vote after he could not amend the bill to remove the provision. With his abstention, the committee could not recommend approval of the bill, and their lack of approval was noted by members of the House when it came time for their vote.

One of the rumors says that the bill may be making a comeback due to the political troubles of Massachusetts Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi, whose reputation has taken several hits amid ethical concerns. This has given the bill’s supporters confidence that the bill will have a better chance of passing, especially after the bill was changed to not contain the provision against online poker, which proved to be vital in the bill’s previous demise.

Supporters of the bill hope that the revenues generated by the three casinos will allow the Massachusetts government to provide some property tax relief to its citizens. If the bill does end up passing Massachusetts residents will no longer have to go to Connecticut and the Foxwoods Reort & Casino in order to gamble.

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