Statewide Ballot Question # 3 - Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming

Massachusetts Law Updates 2014-11-23

With next Tuesday's election comes a series of four Statewide Ballot questions to consider. My colleague from the Lawrence Law Library has already blogged about Question # 1. Question # 3 asks that you consider Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming.
A YES VOTE would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races.

A NO VOTE would make no change in the current laws regarding gaming.

As it currently reads, Massachusetts general law chapter 4 section 7 and Chapter 23K of the Massachusetts general laws would be amended as follows:


Be it enacted by the people and their authority:

SECTION 1. Section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out clause Tenth and inserting in place thereof the following clause:

“Tenth, ’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) pari-mutuel wagering on horse races under chapters 128A and 128C; (iii) a game of bingo conducted under chapter 271; and (iv) charitable gaming under said chapter 271.”

SECTION 2. Chapter 23K of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section 72 following section 71:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or any general or special law to the contrary, no illegal gaming as defined in section 7 of chapter 4 shall be conducted or permitted in this commonwealth and the commission is hereby prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request therefor.”

SECTION 3. The several provisions of this Act are independent and severable and the invalidity, if any, of any part or feature thereof shall not affect or render the remainder of the Act invalid or inoperative.

To view the argument in favor of prohibiting casinos and any gaming establishment establishment with slot machines and prohibit wagering on simulcast greyhound races, click on this link.

To view the discussion that a no vote would not make any change to the current laws regarding gaming, click on this link.

Source: Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website, located at,accessed on October 30, 2014. 
Massachusetts Information for Voters 2014 Ballot Questions, published by William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.