When the application & licensing process deliberated, many concerns were brought up by those applying for the three licenses. A major concern for limiting ways gamblers become addicted has been commendable, if down right overprotective to please the anti-gambling lobbyists who lost in November.
First, it was the Massachusetts law that limited to Casino Jackpot payouts to $500 hand-pay on slots & video poker,compared to the customary $1000 hand-pay in most gambling areas. That means if you won $500 or more, your gambling would stop, the machine would lock up, attendants would call over supervisors, you would wait as the supervisors and attendant went and got the money from the cage, came back and paid you. Like I said, most jurisdictions hand-pay at $1000 where over a thousand is taxable. Annoying to say the least. As of this post, I am not aware of this being overturned – Wynn & MGM both lobbied for change.
Second, to address gambling addiction, Massachusetts wanted to require casinos to reward their customers for voluntarily setting limits on how much time and money they spend at slot machines under a proposal being considered by state gambling regulators. Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming voiced strong concerns over the idea, suggesting such programs have not proved effective elsewhere. The result is the possibility of a beta test at the first open casino at Plainridge Park in Plainville – the only slots parlor – with voluntary sign-up.
And now, The ATM concern! Hours after an appeal for a timeout from the next attorney general, the Massachusetts Legislature retreated from its late-session push for broader access to cash machines at casinos.
Paul Donato, a Medford Democrat, said “Now, in most of the casinos that I’ve visited, one or two, they’re always in the lobbies and never inside the actual casino.” Sorry Paul – not true.
Most TITO (TicketInTicketOut) Redemption machines on the casino floor double as ATM’s, where cash may be taken out or cash advances may be made. The Gaming Commission has requested an interpretation from the Division of Banks on ATMs at casinos, and in the meantime adopted a temporary policy restricting their placement to at least 15 feet from the gaming floor of a casino or slot parlor.
If Massachussetts makes it too hard for people to enjoy the gambling experience, do the surrounding states have as much to worry about?
With the major casinos of Wynn & MGM openings away in two years, maybe they can visit a few casinos, you know, check it out?
That’s all for now.