Massachusetts State Panel Discusses Social Casino Games

Any of these seem familiar?

Any of these seem familiar?

Remember Farmville?  Warcraft?  Are Still playing them?

How about Clash of the Titans?  Words with Friends?  And all those Candy Crush, Soda Crush, “anything you can imagine” Crush games?  Playing any of those?

Social Gaming has been popular ever since apps could be put on mobile devices. Those games have been accepted as harmless pastimes, yet many have hinted that they can be as addictive as any electronic game. Now, social casino gaming, or is becoming popular – and most of New England’s casinos offer it on their websites.

For a previous posts about Social Gaming, search using “Social Gaming” in the archives.

images (1)“Freemium” gaming, where players play casino games for free is the most popular social gaming model.  Unlike “online gambling,” you can play Top Spot: Poker, Slots, Bingo, Table Games, and Video Poker for free.  The question is, can players of these games tell the difference between gambling and social gambling.

In a move to better understand the rise of online social casino gaming, the Massachusetts Gambling Commission invited experts to share their views at a meeting in Boston weeks ago.

Japans-Unique-Social-Gaming-Industry“It’s pretty clear there are some dangers,” stated Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Issue Gambling. “When you simulate gambling online, whether or not for cash or not, you can develop a gambling problem or exacerbate an issue.”  Critics say they are addictive and misleading to its users.

But from the casino side, Luc Delany, chief executive officer of a trade body titled International Social Games Association, said that social casino gaming was an extension of harmless online gaming and was popular with millions of players around the world.

download (1)Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen P. Crosby said there isn’t any proof that online casino games result in issue gambling. But Crosby stated the panel had a much better grasp of the topic and would invite Penn National, the owner of Plainridge Park Casino, to discuss the topic at a future meeting.  In future meetings, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts, which are also licensed in Massachusetts to operate casinos, will also be invited.

But does this come under the jurisdiction of the MGC?  Evben though additional game credits may be bought for continued play, just as social games such as Soda Crush or Angry Birds do, social gaming doesn’t wager or gamble real money.

The MGC vowed to continue its look into Freemium Casino Gaming to consider more about the potential dangers.

Meanwhile, FYI, the following New England Casino websites include social casino gaming:  Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Hollywood Bangor, & Plainridge Park casinos.




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