Thursday July 26, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts lawmakers have given final approval to a bill aimed at banning illegal gambling at so-called "cyber cafes" across the state.

Cyber cafes sell internet time, allowing patrons to play online slots and other games on the premises. Patrons can then win points in the video games which can be redeemed for cash at the cafe.

The bill would create the new crime of conducting or promoting a sweepstakes through the use of the entertaining display of an electronic machine.

The bill creates a penalty of up to $250,000 per machine or imprisonment of up to 15 years in a state prison.

The bill would exempt the state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, bingo and charitable gaming.

The bill now heads to Gov. Deval Patrick.