So not only is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick calling for two-year jail terms and a $25,000 fine for people caught gambling online, the proposal comes in a bill whose larger purpose is to allow for three new casinos in Massachusetts.
I've seen the same politician push bricks-and-mortar casinos in one bill while restricting online gambling in another. And of course, states like Texas, Illinois, and Virginia have cracked down on private gambling and poker games while spending millions promoting lottery scratch-offs with card-playing and poker themes.
But to call for tossing online gamblers in prison while pushing for new casinos in the same bill? Points to Patrick for testicular fortitude, I guess. And for at least being open and transparent about his bald protectionism.
It'll also be interesting to see how Massachusetts plans to enforce the law. Force ISPs to start turning over the identity of customers who visit poker sites? Random searches of bank statements? SWAT teams?