Recreational Gambling Requires Responsible Gambling

Losing at Gambling?

Be aware of your Gambling

Once each year, I pause the gambling news and hype to be sure we look at the seriousness of problem gambling. March is Problem Gambling Awareness month.  It comes at a perfect time in New England in 2019 when the expansion of gambling continues at a feverish pitch. The addition of legal sports betting in Rhode Island, and probably other states in our region by the end of the year, brings more concern to those who might battle gambling additions. ,

MARCH IS PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS MONTH!

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is a grassroots campaign that depends on the participation of NCPG state Affiliate, organizational and individual members, state health agencies, gambling companies, recovery groups and a wide range of healthcare organizations and providers.

Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.  As March Madness reaches a crescendo with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30% during the month

In 2017, according to an info-graphic released by the NCPG, problem gambling accounted for $7 billion in the US annually due to addiction, bankruptcy, and crime. Of the estimated five million Americans who already meet the criteria for gambling addiction, three in four have problems with alcohol, 38 percent use or have used illegal drugs, and 20 percent have attempted or committed suicide.

Changing Tide

According to the American Gambling Association, new research released shows that “with American acceptance of gaming at an all-time high, casino gamblers are actively practicing responsible gaming….. Bettors report setting budgets, sticking to them and being aware of available responsible gaming resources at significantly high rates.”

According to the research:

  • 9 in 10 casual bettors set a budget before they visit a casino;
  • 90 percent of those visitors report success in tracking their spending; and
  • 8 in 10 casual casino visitors and 9 in 10 avid casino visitors are aware of responsible gaming resources.

Massachusetts leads the charge

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) implemented many initiatives to curb problem gambling in Massachusetts Casinos, including:

  • PREVENTION:  This month SEIGMA researchers will release evidence-based guidelines designed to help Massachusetts residents make informed decisions about gambling behavior. The upcoming report Low-Risk Gambling Guidelines for Massachusetts defines the point at which level of gambling engagement (i.e. frequency and expenditure) increases risk.RESEARCH: This month the MGC will select organizations to conduct Community-Driven Research. The research objective is to provide communities with the opportunity to define the issue or question relating to the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts. This initiative puts the community first and emphasizes collaboration between researchers.EDUCATION: MGC continues to generate awareness about its popular, responsible gaming program GameSense and is working closely with GameSense Advisors at Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield to host a series of activities for casino employees. As the eyes and ears of the casino, employees play a key role in identifying persons who may be struggling with gambling. Educating casino staff about available programs and resources has increased benefit because research identifies gaming employees as being at a greater risk of developing a gambling problem.COMMUNICATION: Throughout the month, MGC will implement a digital campaign across its multiple social media channels to promote awareness and educate the public about MGC’s voluntary self-exclusion program and the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling helpline.

    COLLABORATION: Plainridge Park Casino employees will wear GameSense-branded PGAM buttons throughout the month. MGM Springfield produced a “Fact or Myth” video featuring a GameSense Advisor and the educational video will be shown to employees at multiple MGM properties.

    SUPPORT: MGC supports the Cambridge Health Alliance’s ‘Gambling Disorder Screening Day’ taking place on March 12, 2019. On the same day, GameSense Advisors will offer problem gambling screening at Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield.

Gamesense 2Kudos to MGM International for implementing GameSense at its resorts in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the country, not just in Springfield where it is required.

Gambling Companies Also Looking to Help

Everi, IGT, and Aristocrat are only a few of the gambling industry giants working with the AGA create responsible gambling. Check out these articles from the AGA’s website:

Everi Provides Tools To Help Customers Play Responsibly

IGT Helps Operators Protect Players and Keep Gaming Fun

Aristocrat: Using Technology To Support Responsible Gaming

Every casino in New England has some form of help, from self-exclusion programs, live chat link on websites for immediate help, or state hotlines like Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. For more information on problem gambling, go to the National Council on Problem Gambling website.  Help each other if your friends, family or children seem to be spending money they don’t have.  If you have questions or concerns about your own gambling, take the 20 Question Check at Gambler’s Anonymous.  Wouldn’t it be great to not have to worry?

Binbin – Embrace the Awareness of Responsible Gambling

 

MGC Leads New England in Addiction Help

Follow the signs of problem gambling.

Once each year, I pause the gambling news and hype to be sure we look at the seriousness of problem gambling. March is Problem Gambling Awareness month. For the 14th year, PGAM, the Problem Gambling Awareness Month, is a national public awareness and outreach campaign established to bring awareness to issues associated with problem gambling and to also highlight the national and local resources available to provide individuals and families with support.

As any vice/leisure activity allowed in our society, certain responsibilities should be followed.  However, some people are not able to resist the overwhelming dark sides of their actions.  Whether for moral, economic, or basic human caring reasons, we try to provide help to those who cannot help themselves.

Types of Casino Gambling throughout the U.S.

Types of Casino Gambling throughout the U.S.  Massachusetts & D.C. have commercial casinos as of 2017.

You might find it odd to have a post dealing with the “dark side” of gaming, but it is with an objective responsibility that NETime Gambling covers it all, and that includes the awareness of problem gambling. Consider this:

  • According to an info-graphic released by the NCPG, problem gambling accounts for $7 billion in the US annually due to addiction, bankruptcy, and crime.
  • Of the estimated five million Americans who already meet the criteria for gambling addiction, three in four have problems with alcohol, 38 percent use or have used illegal drugs, and 20 percent have attempted or committed suicide.

For more information on problem gambling, go to the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

In recognition of PGAM this year, the  Massachusetts Gaming Commission presents the following initiatives:

  • PREVENT: This month, MGC will introduce an updated version of its Responsible Gaming Framework. Originally published in 2014, the RGF is intended to inform gaming regulation in Massachusetts and provide an overall orientation to the responsible gaming practices and policies adopted by MGC and its licensees. After a comprehensive review process which included participation of independent experts and members of the recovery community, the latest RGF now includes updated key principles, expanded strategies and is grounded in the most up-to-date research.
  • EDUCATE: MGC is currently developing a new marketing and advertising campaign for the GameSense program, MGC’s innovative and comprehensive responsible gaming strategy to encourage responsible play and mitigate program gambling. Expected to launch this summer, the new outreach campaign will extend to Western Massachusetts in anticipation of the MGM Springfield opening.
  • COMMUNICATE: Throughout the month, MGC will implement a targeted social media campaign to increase awareness about problem gambling prevention and the resources available.
  • COLLABORATE: Working closely with MGC, GameSense Advisors at Plainridge Park Casino will conduct a series of training and awareness-building activities for casino employees.
  • RESEARCH: MGC remains committed to its robust research agenda and using findings to further inform problem gambling intervention, prevention and treatment strategies. View MGC’s latest research report about problem gambling. Last month, the MGC released the first significant report of the Massachusetts gaming impact cohort study. Information from this study provides new and much-needed information about problem gambling incidence rates and behavioral trajectory. This study will yield important information leading to tailored treatment and prevention programs.
  • SUPPORT: MGC supports the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Gambling Disorder Screening Day. On 13 March 2017, the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction and Outpatient Addiction Services are sponsoring a Gambling Disorder Screening Day as part of the Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion (CHARGE) Initiative

Other New England States have the following to help gamblers with addiction problems:

Connecticut – The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling

Rhode Island – Play Responsibly, The Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling

Maine – Problem Gambling Links at Maine Gov

Help each other if your friends, family or children seem to be spending money they don’t have.  If you have questions or concerns about your own gambling, take the 20 Question Check at Gambler’s Anonymous.  Wouldn’t it be great to not have to worry?

Sincerely,

Binbin

 

Gambling Losing Streaks – Responsible Gaming Education Week

Vegas Vacation

In A Losing Streak?

RESPONSIBLE GAMING EDUCATION WEEK

Leaders of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) this week to highlight the gaming industry’s shared commitment to responsible gaming.

Gaming operators and manufacturers across the United States will commemorate the industry’s responsible gaming efforts by holding dozens of local events and responsible gaming educational activities this week in recognition of Responsible Gaming Education Week.

So, while NETimeGambling.com endorses recreational gambling, it’s always good to remember responible gambling.

NETG & RESPONSIBLE GAMING

When I first started NETG, another blogger posed the following question, “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

For me, this blog is a means to inform as a resource. More than anything I wish gamblers understood the logistics behind the gaming industry and losing. With the wrong expectations, a losing streak is a difficult thing to deal with – it becomes very personal. We bring a certain amount, whether it be $20, $200, $2000, or more, and it can be gone in a New York minute – and there you are, a quick losing streak changing your expectations, your feelings, and possibly your behavior.

Now what do you do?  When your gambling becomes a streak of losing, what do you do to change your “luck?” How do you handle that pit in your stomach?

HOW DO YOU REACT?

BankrollDo you go on “TILT?” According to Bill Burton in his article “Losing Streaks: How To Survive,” “going on tilt is the expression used when poker players become upset and lose control of their emotions. Consequently they start making poor decisions and play badly and irrationally. Going on tilt is not confined just to poker players. Anyone who gambles on any casino game can find themselves on tilt. Once a player starts losing money they are a prime candidate. They have lost money and they try to make it back quickly by raising the size of their bets or playing a higher denomination slot machine. This will usually just lead to more losses.”

Sometimes a player will get to the point where they just don’t care how much money they have lost. But, for most of us, it does matter. Understand that casinos are very profitable businesses. They make money that is coming from the players pockets. Few people win. Most lose. Gambling is for fun. If it makes you feel bad, and cannot accept the fact that you’ll probably lose, do something else in your free time!lottery

7 SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH LOSING STREAKS

Losing can become purely an emotional response.  I try to remind myself the following:

  1. I came with money that I could spend on the recreational pleasure of gambling. When it’s gone, I’m done. And a 10% win on the day’s Bankroll is a good day for any recreational gambler.  Consider going home with money in your pocket, win or lose.
  2. The casino will win, the house edge is real and getting worse every year as casinos tighten machines, game rules, and paytables.
    6:5 Blackjack

    Dont play Blackjack that pays 6:5 on all blackjacks! Just don’t!

    Learning to accept it is the first step to dealing with losing.  Even better, look for the best table rules, the best paytables, and higher denomination slots to help your gambling duration and “win-a-bility.”

  3. If I win big, or lose big, I need to admit that anything CAN happen. The end result, AS LONG AS MONEY SPENT IS DISCRETIONARY, NOT YOUR FAMILY’S BUDGET $$, must be accepted.  When you’re not in a good frame of mind and on a losing streak, put down your drink, don’t carry on and calmly leave. Jessica Cheng, Brand Ambassador at 777DragonCasino.com, says,”…we have a chance at winnings and a chance at losing – it’s just the nature of the game.
    Losing at Gambling?

    Losing at Gambling?

    But there is no reason to slip into a depression and refuse to ever go gambling again. Just recoup, maybe take a break and gather yourself again, sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month and then when you feel ready, try again.” However, I would emphasize wait and “sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month…” 

  4. Repeat after me…..We must ALWAYS use our Rewards Card.  At least get something for your money. A comp of any size could give yourself the break that you need, whether it’s an outright comp gift or from your own hard-earned comp points.
  5. NEVER GO TO THE CASINO TO GET AWAY FROM PROBLEMS, NEVER GO TO THE CASINO WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, UPSET, OR DEPRESSED. 
  6. If you have lost A LOT of money (which could mean anything to anyone, but I mean a good chunk over hours of play),  do what Richard Munchkin, Author of Gambling Wizards and cohost of cover170x170Gambling With an Edge (an excellent podcast and highly recommended for Advantage & recreational players alike). “The most important thing AFTER a big loss” he says “is to contact a casino host and ask for some money back. This is called a loss rebate, but it is only for BIG losses……Bottom line – try to get some of your money back by asking a host. If you can’t get cash try for show tickets, fight tickets, or whatever they will give you. By the way – the term “ton of money” is relative. If your ‘ton’ is $500 then you may only get a comp for 2 to the buffet.”  Remember, unless you ask, you can’t get anything!
  7. Fluctuations are to be expected, depending on the EV (expected Value) of the game your playing.  See the cartoon above and read again. Don’t expect your money to last on a slot machine like it would on a Video Poker machine with perfect strategy.  And yet, fluctuations will happen, no matter what the EV is. There are advantages to playing any game – just be knowledgeable and accept the consequences of lower EV games.

Remember, gambling is like any recreational pleasure – it can create a rush of adrenaline and release of endorphin to our human brain that some of us can’t handle well. Before I end, I must repeat what is in the side panel of this blog daily: Gambling Addiction is a serious illness progressive in its nature. It affects the person who gambles as well as many around them – family, co-workers and friends. If you wonder if the fun has stopped, and the compulsiveness has begun, go to the following Gamblers Anonymous site and answer a quick 20 questions. It may save your life.

Go to Gamblers Anonymous.org and take a 20-questions quiz if you wonder why it isn’t fun anymore.

Be in control.  I wish for safe, healthy and fun gambling for us all, win or lose.  JUST REMEMBER, KEEP WITHIN YOUR FINANCIAL MEANS AND HAVE FUN.

Binbin