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Online Poker Bill Blocked by Would-Be Kennedy Replacement

The attorney general of Massachusetts prevented an intrastate online poker bill from advancing to the ballot and declared online gambling in all forms illegal in the state, just as she swore running for US Senate wouldn't influence her job.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has used an anti-gambling stance to enhance public awareness of her, refused to allow state residents to vote on creating regulated intrastate online poker. Coakley told the Poker Players Alliance a measure to allow poker players to play online as long as both server and bettor were in Massachusetts wasn't written in proper form to be included on the fall ballot.

Coakley announced this week she would run for the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Immediately she had to field questions about her ability to continue as Attorney General while campaigning, but insisted her political ambition would not affect her performance as AG.

“I will stay involved,” Coakley told the Boston Herald. "I have been and will remain involved in the major decisions in the office.”

While Coakley asserted her attention to tasks at hand, it was uncertain whether critics had thought she would neglect her job, or whether they had meant she now has political implications lying on legal decisions such as reviewing the online poker initiative.

Coakley told poker advocates that the wording of the bill left in question whether Massachusetts would be able to legally force the payment of a suggested five percent tax on Internet poker deposits.

Despite the presence of no state law against Internet gambling, Coakley's office states on its website that all online gambling is illegal.

Published on September 4, 2009 by EdBradley

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