Voluntary Self-Exclusion FAQs As Sports Betting Launches In Massachusetts

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on January 30, 2023
Voluntary Self-Exclusion information for Massachusetts gamblers

State regulators and operators are busy prepping for the rollout of retail sports betting in Massachusetts. Players can now walk into of one of the three Massachusetts casinos and place a legal sports bet.

The state’s three casinos – Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor – will open Tuesday to accept sports bets. But the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is holding off rolling out a more widely accessible online betting component until early March.

With legal sports betting in Massachusetts launching tomorrow, it’s important to know about the state’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion program (VSE). It allows players to voluntarily exclude themselves from casino gambling, sports betting, or both.

How does the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program work?

The term “self-exclusion” or “voluntary exclusion” refers to a policy usually endorsed by governments or casinos to help promote responsible gambling habits.

As such, the program allows participants to voluntarily exclude themselves from the gaming floor of all Massachusetts casinos. The exclusion lasts for a pre-determined amount of time.

Enrollments can take place at any GameSense Info Centers located in the state’s three casinos in:

  1. Plainville (Plainridge Park Casino)
  2. Springfield (MGM Springfield)
  3. Everett (Encore Boston Harbor)

As an alternative, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission office in Boston can offer enrolments virtually via a remote online process.

How to enroll in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program

There are a few ways players can join the program. These include the following methods of contact:

  • By phone: calling the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line at 1-800-426-1234
  • Online chat: chat via the GameSense website is available 24/7
  • In-person: contact the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at 617.533.9737 or by emailing [email protected]
  • Visiting any GameSense Info Centers during casino operating hours without an appointment

During the appointment, the individuals will connect with a professional trained to handle requests for voluntary self-exclusion. These professionals understand the problematic decision some players are making and will offer support to help make a knowledgeable choice.

All participants will have to show government-issued identification with a signature and a photograph (like a driver’s license or passport). Participants will also need to:

  • Sign the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Agreement
  • Have a photograph taken

Enrollment forms and FAQ brochures are available in English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese.

Voluntary Self-Exclusion FAQs

Before joining the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program, users should go through the FAQs. The length of the exclusion period is up to every individual. The available choices are:

  1. One year
  2. Three years
  3. Five years
  4. A lifetime

Users can select the lifetime exclusion only if they first completed a shorter term. You can renew or extend the period at any time, but you cannot reduce the amount of time you select.

During the period of exclusion, a player is not allowed to enter the gaming floor of any Massachusetts casino. To reduce the temptation to return to the casino, all reward points will be null and void.

Likewise, the gaming commission suspends any direct marketing materials (such as prizes or pay vouchers). Players can also re-enroll in the program as many times as they like.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission can only accept forms submitted by a designated enrolling agent or via the remote enrollment process. For any additional questions, players are welcome to visit the website for more information.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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