Massachusetts Gambling Laws and Regulatory Organizations Recently, the gambling laws in Massachusetts have changed to allow potential expansion of the industry in the state. Thanks to the Expanded Gambling Act that was passed in 2011, casinos were allowed to open and offer slots and video poker. What we do — Timely innovation no matter your industry. As technology evolves, so do we. While we continuously study and work with an array of emerging technologies, our current expertise is in AI assistants, chatbots, robotic process automation, and machine learning.
It’s always a good idea to start out with a state’s definition of gambling or illegal gambling, so here’s the definition provided in Massachusetts:
“Illegal gaming,” a banking or percentage game played with cards, dice, tiles or dominoes, or an electronic, electrical or mechanical device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, but excluding: (i) a lottery game conducted by the state lottery commission, under sections 24, 24A and 27 of chapter 10; (ii) a game conducted under chapter 23K; (iii) pari-mutuel wagering on horse races under chapters 128A and 128C and greyhound races under said chapter 128C; (iv) a game of bingo conducted under chapter 271; and (v) charitable gaming conducted under said chapter 271.” (1)
The first thing that jumps out at us from the perspective of poker is that this looks very similar to the poker laws in California and some other states as well, prohibiting gaming that is a banking or percentage game, yet California has the most real money online poker card rooms of any state in the country, and all of them operate outside of the banking or percentage scheme, as the card rooms charge players based upon time.
So there wouldn’t be any reason why such a scheme would not be permissible in Massachusetts, although no one has challenged this as of yet.
At this point all we have is the definition of this term, we still need to see where it fits in the law. In a state as conservative as Massachusetts, which still has laws on the books outlawing such things as fornication, adultery, and even blasphemy, we would expect that laws banning gambling would be both clear and strict.
As it turns out, this is not the case, as the law only addresses specific instances of gambling. For instance, you are not permitted to gamble in a public place, except as permitted by law. (2)
The rest of the criminal laws pertaining to gambling pertain not to gambling itself but in hosting gambling or operating gambling devices or places. There is even a law where illegal gambling is not permitted during church camp meetings (3), but all of these laws concern the apparatus or hosting of gambling essentially. Aztec gems deluxe pragmatic play.
How This Pertains to Live & Online Poker
The only provision of any real interest as it may pertain to online poker is the section that prohibits using telephones for gaming purposes. (4) Some have interpreted this to include using other means of communication, the internet in particular, to transmit betting information. However, the lack of applicability of the Federal Wire Act to online poker, where it was found by the courts that the intention was to prohibit the transmission of sports betting info and not apply to all telecommunications involving betting, does provide some guidance here.
Common carriers are subject to constraints as far as their allowing their communications to be used for unlawful purposes, but in order for this to apply to online poker, there must be a finding of illegality in the first place.
So to sum up a bit, you can probably operate a card room if the manner in which it was run did not violate the definition of illegal gaming, there is certainly nothing in the law that prohibits gambling in general as we normally think of it, including gambling in private. There’s no good reason to suspect that gambling online would be illegal either, although that part is certainly subject to interpretation, especially if you are using a dial up service to the internet, although this would involve the use of a telephone line, but not a telephone per se, and the law does specify the use of a telephone specifically and not just the use of telephone lines.
Playing Poker In Massachusetts
There are currently not any live card rooms or live casinos in Massachusetts, but this may change, as the state legislature passed a bill back in 2011 authorizing the licensing and building of three casinos in the state.
These casinos have yet to be built though, and we will have to see whether any of them will offer live poker as well as casino action. There is also an Indian tribe within the state that is looking to build a casino as well, but this hasn’t been built yet either.
In spite of this bill passing, it continues to face fierce opposition, and voters will be going to the polls in the fall of 2014 to decide whether it should be repealed or not. (5) Should it be repealed, this would be a huge setback to permitting lawful casino gambling in the state.
There are several live poker rooms that residents of the state can travel to, and some are pretty handy, like those in neighboring New Hampshire and Connecticut.
Massachusetts is also one of the few states that are seriously considering passing a bill to allow online poker, although things are still in the works and there is still quite a bit of work to do in order to make that a reality, but it remains a real possibility in the coming few years.
In the mean time, there remains some very good options for those from Massachusetts who wish to enjoy all the fun that playing online poker provides. Here are our top recommended online poker sites for you:
Ignition Poker – they’re an industry leader in online poker (they just re-branded after buying the Bovada software) and is ready for you to play there right now if you are ready. They have both a poker room and an amazing online casino attached as well. Both the poker and casino side offer welcome bonuses of $1,000 each if you sign up for an account today.
America’s Cardroom – ACR is also eager to welcome you if you are from Massachusetts and also have a nice welcome package for you, including offer a signup bonus of up to $1,000 and access to one of the largest iPoker databases for online poker players.
(1) Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 4, Section 7, Definition of Statutory Terms; Statutory Construction
(2) Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 271, Section 2
(3) Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 39
(4) Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 271, Section 17A
(5) Massachusetts Court Allows Public To Vote On Repealing Casino Law
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Poker Tournaments are postponed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Mohegan Sun Poker Room is Now Open
The safety, health and well-being of our Guests and Team Members are our top priority. The following measures have been implemented in order to mitigate the risks to our Guests and Team Members.
New hours of operation are: 10:00am - 2:00am
Poker Room Rules
Masks are required to be worn by all Guests at all times
Seating will be restricted to a maximum of 7 players per table
Guests must sanitize their hands before touching any cards
Spectators are not permitted in the Poker Room
Food is not be permitted in the Poker Room at any time
Guests must purchase buy-in at cage (First buy-in only)
Table changes will not be permitted until further notice (Seat changes are allowed)
Call-Ins will not be permitted until further notice
Dinner reseating is be 1 hour (players will be placed 2nd on list upon return)
Poker promotions and tournaments will be postponed until further notice
Chip pick-ups are as follows: 1. First player two missed blinds, 2. Second player one missed blind, 3. Third immediately pick up
Doing Our Part
Polycarbonate dividers will be used on all active poker tables
Poker cards will be removed and sanitized frequently
When a player leaves the table, the rail will be cleaned prior to seating another player
Hand sanitizers will be placed on all active tables
Sanitizing dispensers will be located throughout the Poker Room
Park at Indian Summer Garage for convenient access to the Poker Room. Use the elevator in the middle for the Autumn Entrance.
KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK. PLAY RATIONALLY. KEEP YOUR COOL.
Ways to play every day
Poker promotions and tournaments will be postponed until further notice.
Daily Poker Tournaments
You're never more than a few hours away from great tournament action at Mohegan Sun.
Daily tournaments feature 'No Limit Texas Hold 'Em' and 'Bounty' Tournaments. Click to see our Poker Tournament Schedule to see what you will play today.
DAILY CASH GAME OFFERINGS
7 Card Stud
Texas Hold 'Em
No Limit Texas Hold 'Em
2-7 Triple Draw
Don't see what you were looking for? Ask in the Poker Room and if there is enough interest that day, we will spread games and limits that are approved.
Mohegan Sun has the only poker room in Connecticut that allows Momentum Dollars to be used toward tournament buy-ins.
2 Momentum Dollars = $1 toward a tournament buy-in and entry fee.
HOW TO PLAY POKER
We keep the lines short and the action non-stop in our Poker room with over 30 tables. We have a variety of the most popular poker games with a wide range of limits and you can enjoy your meal while you play.
TEXAS HOLD 'EM
Hold ‘Em is a community card game. Each player receives two cards. There are designated blinds in Hold ‘Em (usually two: a small and a big in the first and second positions to the left of the dealer button). After the initial round of betting, three cards are turned up on the table, commonly referred to as a “flop.” There is a betting round after the flop, then two more cards are turned up, one at a time, with a round of betting after each card. Players match their two hole cards with the five community cards on the board. The best 5-card hand wins the pot.
PINEAPPLE HOLD ‘EM/CRAZY PINEAPPLE HOLD ‘EM
A variation of Texas Hold ‘Em, each player is dealt three down cards instead of two. After the initial round of betting, players must discard one of their hole cards before the flop. All other rules of Hold ‘Em apply. Pineapple Hold ‘Em can be played either high or high-low split. A qualifier of eight-or-better is usually needed to win the low hand in the split game. In Crazy Pineapple Hold ‘Em, after the initial round of betting, players must discard one of their hole cards after the flop. All other rules of Pineapple Hold ‘Em apply.
Seven-card stud is played with two down cards and one up card, a betting round, followed by three more up cards (with betting round after each), then a final down card and a final round of betting. The best 5-card hand wins the pot. The initial action is made by the player with the lowest ranking up card. On subsequent betting rounds, action is started by the highest ranking card. In a fixed limit game, if there is an open pair on the fourth card, players have the option of making a bet or raising the higher limit.
Omaha is similar to Hold ‘Em, except each player is dealt four down cards instead of two. The betting is same as Hold ‘Em. However, to make a hand, a player must use precisely two hole cards with any combination of exactly three board cards.
OMAHA HI-LO SPLIT EIGHT-OR-BETTER
A variation of Omaha, players may use any combination of two hole cards and three board cards for their high hand and another (or the same) combination of two hole cards and three board cards for the low hand. A qualifier of Eight-or-better is required for the low hand. If no player can make a low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot.
POT LIMIT HOLD ‘EM
In Pot Limit Hold ‘Em, a player can open for any amount up to four times the size of the big blind. Any player may bet and raise the amount of money in the pot. In raising the pot, a player must consider the total amount of called bets including their own call as part of the pot. All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise.
NO LIMIT HOLD ‘EM
In a No Limit Hold ‘Em game, there are designated blinds and/or antes plus a designated opening bet. Beyond this structure, any player may bet any amount of money they have on the table.
7-CARD HI-LO SPLIT - EIGHT OR BETTER
A variation of 7-card stud, the best high hand splits the pot with the best low hand. However, in order to win the low half, the player must have an 8-low or better. If there is no low qualifier, the high hand wins the entire pot.
Mi Poker Lotto Payouts
7-CARD LO (RAZZ)
Razz is a low ball game. The lowest hand wins the pot. Aces are low and straights and flushes have no effect on the value of the hand. In Razz, the high card has the forced opening and the low hand is first to act thereafter.