The gambling industry is consistently maligned for pushing gamblers toward addiction. The fact is that there are strategies the casino business use that influences players gambling more. Libby Kane, in here article “9 Tricks Casinos Use To Make You Spend More Money” gives you some examples of age old ways a casino can influence your further gambling.
We have many pleasures in this world and some do become unmanageable vices. But, in recent years, the gaming industry has looked at ways to help their patrons stay away from addiction.
Anyone ever notice if a liquor store ever denied clientele from purchases because of suspected alcohol addiction? Did you ever see someone notify a major cigarette manufacturer to ask that they be banned from purchasing their product? well, how about the casino industry?
Self-banning, or self-exclusion, is a process of giving a casino permission to stop a player from entering a specific casino and has been available for years. Most compulsive gamblers and their family members believe that self-exclusion is the solution because the problem is the gambler going to the casino.” One of the problems that gamblers and their family members learn is that just because you self-ban from one casino doesn’t mean you’ve banned yourself from others.
When Massachusetts passed the he Expanded Gaming Act in 2011, particular emphasis was placed on encouraging responsible gaming and the prevention of problem gambling. The Act uniquely mandated a physical space for responsible gaming support inside all Massachusetts casinos, and directed MGC to pursue innovative and active methods and tools to meet this legislative mandate. Plainridge Park Casino, the first Massachusetts casino in Plainville, MA, included three options to help against gambling problems:
- GameSenseMA.com, a website with tips and tricks to promote responsible gaming practices
- The GameSense Info Center at Plainridge Park Casino, staffed by GameSense Advisors from 9:00am to 1:00am every day
- PlayMyWay is an innovative budget-setting tool that prompts rewards card holders to voluntarily choose a daily, weekly and/or monthly budget to track their spending while at Plainridge Park Casino.
For additional coverage of Plainridge Park’s Responsible Gambling Program, check out our previous related posts “Plainridge Park Casino Officially Launches “PlayMyWay” Today!”
What came as a big surprise, at least to me, was when MGM recently decided to adopt the GameSense platform to all of ITS properties, due to success at the Plainridge Park property (owned by PennNationalGaming) and the Connecticut Lottery, among others using the program.
It is expected to be used in all Massachusetts casinos – Wynn Boston Harbor & MGM’s MGM Springfield. Steve Ruddock, in his article
said, “What MGM has likely seen is the light touch GameSense uses, as well as the positive perception of GameSense from casino patrons.”
I’ve always thought that MGM was a profit-first company, with little care for its players. But not only is bold move a plus for everyone, having so much data to use may also help Responsible Gaming Program Design in the future. Steve continues with four important points:
- According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s annual report, 87.7 percent of survey respondents said their primary concern was resolved by visiting a GameSense Info Center or speaking with a GameSense advisor.
- A further 82 percent of survey respondents said they would visit the GameSense Info Center again.
- Furthermore, the industry as a whole is becoming more in tune with responsible gaming as a policy, rather than viewing it as a handcuff.
- Forward-thinking companies have come to the conclusion that embracing responsible gaming policies — and in doing so attracting the right type of customer — is good for business.
When winning is important to both sides in the casino business, this move by MGM can only be seen as a “win-win.”