Gaming Commission Requests Public Comment on Table Game Rules

Casino and Gambling  •  Goodwin Gaming  •  Massachusetts Gaming

On January 5, at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s first meeting of 2017, the Commission posed a series of questions related to the Commission’s promulgation of regulations governing “table game” rules.  As resort casinos edge closer to opening their doors to patrons, the Commission is working to establish processes to review and approve table game rules so that the rules are streamlined across the Commonwealth.  For example, will California Roulette or a more traditional style be permitted in the Commonwealth’s resort casinos? And will there be 37 or 38 pockets on roulette wheels? Will resort-casinos offer Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud, Texas Hold’em, or all three types of poker?  But let’s not go all in while the cards are still being shuffled.  At this point, the Commission is seeking public comment on the processes to consider to authorize the rules of play rather than what the rules should be.

A useful reference for the public’s consideration is the Commission’s Table Game Rules Memorandum surveying the table game rules processes in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. Although similar in many respects, the surveyed jurisdictions have procedural nuances.  The Memorandum summarizes the differing approaches to the establishment, review, certification, or publication of table game rules and can be used as a reference when considering the Commonwealth’s regulatory oversight.  Will what works for the Silver State also work for the Bay State?

The Commission will accept comments until the close of business on January 13, 2017. To submit your comments, email mgccomments@state.ma.us with ‘table game rules’ in the subject line or send by mail to the Commission’s office at 101 Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110.

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