The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has organized a regional conference on responsible gambling to take place on May 14 in Worcester.
The event is the culmination of a decade-long effort by the commission to amass relevant data and insights into the gambling industry landscape.
The AC Marriott hotel will host the conference and has a capacity of around 200 people. The conference aims to bring together key figures and authorities in the gambling sector. It provides a platform for stakeholders to collaborate and engage in thoughtful discussions regarding the evolution of responsible gambling practices.
While the meeting will have stakeholders from the industry, other bodies in attendance will be the Northeast Council on Problem Gambling, which includes:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York
Gaming commission conference is focused on ‘knowledge mobilization’
Mark Vander Linder, the director of research and responsible gaming at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, emphasized the primary objective of the meeting as fostering increased awareness of responsible gambling practices among players.
He said the importance of achieving “knowledge mobilization” as a key goal, emphasizing the need to disseminate information effectively.
The meeting also aims to explore strategies for ensuring that extensive research conducted by the commission and related bodies reaches the appropriate individuals and organizations. This involves not only conducting research but also facilitating its utilization. Particularly in the context of implementing research findings into policy and practice within the gaming industry.
Linden also acknowledged that the gaming commission has made huge progress in this regard over the past ten years. However, he stated that more needs to be done by using the results to effect changes in the present gaming terrain.
In an article by WBZ NewRadio 1030, Vander Linden said:
“The nature of gambling over the last 10 years and in Massachusetts has really changed. We’ve created a lot of evidence that highlights what those changes are. How do we take that evidence and rewrite the playbook?
We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to destigmatize responsible gaming through the variety of tools that we offer in GameSense. And I think that this is a space that is ripe for us to be paying attention to. This is definitely a top RG priority for us.”
Concerns about minimum usage of responsible gambling tools
In a few weeks, legal sports betting in Massachusetts will mark a year for retail sports betting, and online sports betting in about two months. As the state’s gambling scene grows, the gaming authority is gearing up to convene with operators to strengthen responsible gaming policies.
This initiative comes in response to the observation that bettors have underutilized responsible gambling tools. These tools empower bettors with the ability to set limits.
Bettors can limit the amount and frequency of their bets. They can also voluntarily impose temporary gambling restrictions on themselves. However, these tools have not been widely embraced.
Recognizing this gap, the gaming commission is organizing a meeting to delve into strategies for enhancing the appeal of these tools. The goal is to encourage more bettors to incorporate them into their gambling practices.
Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein stated at a late November meeting:
“We wanted to make sure that we had strong RG tools for individuals to use on their device. We know we share this with other jurisdictions, but this is not novel.
But really, these tools are very critical to this particular commission … and I know that our director of research and responsible gaming has been concerned that the bettors just are not utilizing them.”
In other news, a group of gambling affiliate media companies have recently formed the Responsible Gambling Affiliate Association. Catena Media is among the members of this new association that aims to foster a secure gambling environment.