BOSTON (WWLP) – Representative Angelo Puppolo has filed a bill that would protect low stake card games at senior centers.

The bill that was heard, An Act Relative to Recreational Games at Senior Centers, has the support of 12 co-sponsors, more than half from western Massachusetts. What the bill would do is deem low stake card games at Municipal and Town Senior Centers as a recreational activity.

The point in categorizing these games as recreational activities is that it would protect senior centers from legal repercussions. According to Puppolo’s office, in 2022, senior centers stopped hosting recreational games with monetary winnings out of concern the games would be perceived as illegal gambling, and they would be held responsible.

“Just a little bit of money adds the excitement to the game, right? It adds more concentration, it allows for more counting skills, right? Just more dynamic, more excitement and again, we’re not looking for high stake games here, we’re not looking to take any money away from MGM or Encore, you know? That’s not the intent of this bill, what it’s trying to do is say, ‘Look it, small stakes, pennies, nickels, dimes, for poker to pinochle, or anything in between,'” said Puppolo.

Within the bill, the representative specifically names games like poker, bridge, dominos, cribbage and bingo. The bill specifies that “low stake” card games are categorized as prizes $20 and below, but the representative said he is willing to reduce that amount to what the Committee feels is appropriate.