First, I would like to point out the disclaimer at the bottom of this
page that states information provided here is not intended for legal
advice and is strictly for general information.
Massachusetts is interesting in their gambling laws in that, according
to the law, the organizers or providers of gambling can be held
Chapter 271, Section 1 of the Massachsetts General Law states
"Whoever, on a prosecution commenced within eighteen months after the
commission of the crime, is convicted of winning at one time or
sitting, by gaming or betting on the sides or hands of those gaming,
money or goods to the value of five dollars or more, and of receiving
the same or security therefor, shall forfeit double the value of such
money or goods."
So, in other words, prosecution of gambling must be down within 18
months of the bet being placed. However, a line tap or search of
computer would be required to determine whether a bet was placed or
not. There is a section that speaks to betting via use of telephone
lines that some feel was meant to prohibit online gambling, but a
technicality could be inferred if you are not using dial-up to access
the internet. There is no record of the Commenwealth prosecuting an
Massachusetts is more focused on stopping those that provide gambling facilities:
"Chapter 271: Section 16A. Organizing or promoting gambling facilities or services.
Section 16A. Whoever knowingly organizes, supervises, manages or
finances at least four persons so that such persons may provide
facilities or services or assist in the provision of facilities or
services for the conduct of illegal lotteries, or for the illegal
registration of bets or the illegal buying or selling of pools upon
the result of a trial or contest of skill, speed or endurance of man,
beast, bird or machine, or upon the happening of any event, or upon
the result of a game, competition, political nomination, appointment
or election, or whoever knowingly receives from at least four such
persons compensation or payment in any form as a return from such
lotteries, such registration or such buying or selling shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than fifteen
years or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by both
such fine and imprisonment. As used in this section the word "persons"
shall not include bettors or wagerers who merely avail themselves of
such facilities or services for the purpose of making a bet or wager
and do not otherwise provide or assist in the provision of such
facilities or services. This section shall not apply to such bettors
In summary, there are no laws on the books that specifically focus on
people people placing bets via the internet, more on those that offer
the facilities to do so.
Thanks for your question. If you need any additional clarification,
please let me know.
massachusetts gambling law online
Massachusetts General Laws
Bettorsworld (Google Cache)