Gambling in the USA is not illegal under federal law, but individual states regulate it. Each state has different laws for the various gambling activities, which include tribal casinos, horse racing, gambling for commercial purposes, gambling for charitable purposes and the state lotteries
Specifically, in Massachusetts, a person is said to be gambling if he is involved in gaming or is betting on others who are involved in it. If there is a chance of winning $5 or more, it is gambling.
What Is Allowed?
Massachusetts allows charitable gambling and the state lottery. The licensed forms of horse-racing and dog-racing have also been legal since 1934. It has also recently expressed the intention of opening three casinos.
What Is Charitable Gambling?
Gambling games run for fundraising come under this category. These could include Bridge, Bingo, Whist, Raffles, Bazaars (or casino nights) and Pull Tabs. Senior citizens’ organizations are also allowed to run Bingo games, provided the prize money does not exceed $100.
A law related to gaming in Massachusetts, which makes it different from all other states, is that it does not permit gaming within a mile of a military muster or a cattle show.
The State Lottery
A lottery is a game of chance run by the state. It could involve scratch cards/tickets or a draw. The winnings are generally given in cash.
If any prize remains unclaimed for one year, it gets added back to the revenue and is allocated as above. In case a winner is eligible for prize money over $600 but has payments due for child support, the money will not be handed over to him.
The state keeps the revenue generated from the lotteries for funding various projects of the state. This is after making payment of the prize money with a minimum of 45% of the revenue and not allotting more than 15% for running costs of the lottery administration.
Punishable offenses related to Massachusetts Lottery include impersonation of a member of the lottery commission, bribing for a license or employment with the commission, forgery, sale to a minor and sale at a higher price. The punishment could include fines and imprisonment.
Members and employees of the lottery commission and those related to them are not allowed to participate in the lottery.
The lotteries can also be conducted by the lottery commission for benefit to the arts, for relief from property tax, for the continuation of local services and to balance out any revenue and expense discrepancies.
To Sum Up
The laws for gambling vary across different states of the United States of America. Though these are independent entities, they do get influenced by the activity in the other states. The states amend their laws regularly and each state will have laws as per the needs of their state.
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