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Massachusetts Laws and Regulations about gaming

Learn more about the laws and regulations on gaming in Massachusetts and the work of the Gaming Enforcement Division of the Attorney General's Office.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 23K

M.G.L. c. 23k establishes the aspects involved in obtaining and owning a gaming license.  Specifically, this law focuses on the responsibilities of gaming licensees and the Gaming Enforcement Divisions’ role in prosecuting violations of these licensures. Please refer to this law for inquiries about how to obtain a gaming license and your rights and responsibilities as a licensee. 

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 271

M.G.L. c. 271 establishes the various crimes against public policy that the Gaming Enforcement Division is tasked with prosecuting, such as those that pertain to lotteries, raffles and other gaming activities.  Please refer to this law for inquiries about the legality of these various gaming activities. 

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 267A

M.G.L. c. 267A defines money laundering, a criminal activity, which includes:

(1) transports or possesses a monetary instrument or other property that was derived from criminal activity with the intent to promote, carry on or facilitate criminal activity;

(2) engages in a transaction involving a monetary instrument or other property known to be derived from criminal activity:

(i) with the intent to promote, carry on or facilitate criminal activity or;

(ii) knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part either to: (A) conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the property derived from criminal activity; or (B) avoid a transaction reporting requirement of this chapter, of the United States, or of any other state or;

(3) directs, organizes, finances, plans, manages, supervises or controls the transportation of, or transactions in, monetary instruments or other property known to be derived from criminal activity or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity shall be guilty of the crime of money laundering and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 6 years or by a fine of not more than $250,000 or twice the value of the property transacted, whichever is greater, or by both such imprisonment and fine. Whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 2 years, but not more than 8 years or by a fine of not more than $500,000 or 3 times the value of the property transacted, whichever is greater, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

940 Code of Massachusetts Regulations Section 30

940 CMR 30.0 prohibits the use of unfair or deceptive business practices to conceal the existence of a lottery, sweepstakes, or similar game of chance not sanctioned by existing Massachusetts law or regulations.  Specifically, this forbids a business from using the sale of goods and services to customers as a pretense for an operation of a lottery, sweepstakes or similar game.  940 CMR 30.00 outlines the ways in which it is determined that a game conducted by a business or person outweighs the legitimate sale of goods and services.  Such factors include the following:

(1) The operation of the business, such as the amount of goods sold in relation to the amount of customers that play the game; 

(2) Whether the main purpose of the business or transaction is for customers to play the game rather than to purchase goods or services and;

(3) Whether or not there is a free play option, or an option that allows customers to play the game without purchasing any goods or services.  If there is a free play option, the characteristics of that option are considered, including accessibility to the free play option or whether or not customers who pay for goods and services have a greater chance of winning a prize over customers who choose the free play option.

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