Massachusetts Poker Players Should Hope Steve Grossman Wins the Governor’s Race

With Massachusetts Democratic Governor Deval Patrick choosing not to seek a third term, the state’s governor’s race is wide open. And two candidates have emerged to run in Patrick’s place in the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial election on Nov. 4th, 2014. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Treasurer Steve Grossman are the frontrunners to earn the Democratic nod for the election.

Assuming you’re a poker player in Massachusetts, or just somebody who’s rooting for expanded interstate poker, there’s a clear candidate that you want to win the Democratic nomination: Grossman.

This much was made clear from Coakley’s recent comments on the idea of the Massachusetts Lottery going online. Coakley told that she’s against an online lottery because it would require people to use credit cards. She cited the fact that Massachusetts lottery players aren’t currently allowed to use credit cards due to fears of problem gambling.

“I feel pretty strongly that it is not a good idea for consumers. It’s not a good idea for Massachusetts,” she said. Coakley also expressed worries about age verification software properly doing its job.

Contrast this to Grossman, who’s actually been an advocate of online gaming for the past two years. His office, which oversees the state’s lottery games, have been pushing Massachusetts lawmakers to sell lottery tickets over the internet for a trial period. To eliminate the much-debated credit card issue, Grossman says that players could visit brick-and-mortar lottery vendors to buy pre-paid online gaming credits.

Of course, everything that Grossman is discussing has to do with the lottery. But it would also open the door for other types of internet gaming such as poker and casino games. And he seems to have a much better reality of online gaming than Coakley. Much like Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, Coakley brings forth the tired argument that gaming sites are incapable of preventing underage gambling – nevermind the fact that age verification has been successfully used in a variety of industries from alcohol sales to internet poker rooms.

Unfortunately, Coakley has been well ahead of Grossman in early polls. So we can only hope that the State Treasurer can gain some ground over the next few months and win the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts Governor’s Race. Otherwise, there’s little hope for legal poker and casino games in the Bay State.

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