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Massachusetts To Study The Impact Of Online Casinos, AI On Public Health

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is looking for researchers to gather information on the impact of iGaming and AI on public health.

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Marc Meltzer Avatar
4 mins read

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is looking to conduct a study on the impact of iGaming on public health. The gaming regulators are also looking for research on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will affect the gaming industry.

Both studies are part of annual research by the MGC. The gaming regulators set a budget of up to $75,000 for each study.

The final results of the studies will be due a year after a research organization is selected, although some data could be released sooner.

These two studies were put forward by the Gaming Policy Advisory Council and approved by gaming commissioners. The research is an important step for the MGC before deciding if the state will offer online casinos and iLottery products.

While online gaming is rapidly growing where legal, it’s only available in seven states including nearby Rhode Island. Massachusetts gaming regulators are taking a proactive approach to any potential risks or benefits of online gambling and AI for residents of the Commonwealth.

This proactive approach doesn’t mean that online casinos will become legal in Massachusetts anytime soon. PlayUSA reached out to Thomas Mills of the MGC to see if there was a timeline for the future of Massachusetts online casinos. He shared the following:

“I want to stress that iGaming is not on the horizon in Massachusetts and that the legislature would need to file and pass a bill legalizing the practice. There are no current bills seeking to legalize iGaming in the legislature.”

This is similar to the MGC’s approach to legalizing online sports betting. There were numerous studies before the initiative moved forward. Mills said, “This study on iGaming was included in a similar vein – to research the subject preemptively.”

The selected researchers will analyze data from existing iGaming platforms and current AI technology to evaluate their potential impact on players.  Once the studies are completed, the MGC will review and post on its website.

Key takeaways

  • Massachusetts Gaming Commission looks to research the impact of technology on players and industry.
  • There’s no timeline if or when Massachusetts online casinos will become legal.
  • AI research could impact the gaming industry as well as responsible gaming efforts.

What are the goals for the impact of iGaming research?

The iGaming research will look into the effects of online casino gaming on public health, possible links to gambling addiction, and iGaming’s impact on players under 25 in Massachusetts.

According to the request for proposal by the MGC, the researchers will begin the study by looking into those who participate in iGaming and comparing their tendencies with other forms of gambling.

This study will look into the relationship between those who play at online casinos and problem gambling. The gaming commission wants to see if there’s more risk linked with the different types of gambling.

The results of the research should identify which players are at the highest risk of “gambling-related harms.” Similarly, the MGC wants to know the impact of iGaming on younger players.

When completed the MGC wants to know what responsible gaming tactics it has to consider if it legalizes iGaming.

AI in the gaming industry

The MGC is also seeking information on the possible uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in the gaming industry. According to the request for a proposal, this research will focus on two things:

“Current and future possible uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in the gaming industry, with a particular focus on marketing, player acquisition, and responsible gaming functionality/player health in the Commonwealth.”

This is a two-part study. First, the research will look at how AI could improve the gaming industry in Massachusetts. Additionally, the MGC wants to know how AI could impact marketing and customer acquisition efforts.

Second, the researcher will look at how AI will affect responsible gaming. This part of the research will include helping the commission understand the impact of AI and risk for online sports bettors.

Massachusetts casino revenue falls in April

According to the MGC’s April 2024 revenue report casinos generated $97.5 million in April from slots and table games.

April’s gaming revenue for the state is about 12.3% lower than the March 2024 gaming revenue when the three Massachusetts casinos reported $111 million. This is also less than the $101.6 million in revenue collected during April 2023.

This wasn’t only a statewide slowdown; all casinos saw a slight dip in month-over-month gaming revenue.

Encore Boston Harbor led the way with $60.8 million in gaming revenue in April. This was nearly $10 million less than in March.

MGM Springfield brought in $22.7 million of gaming revenue. In March, the casino had $25.2 million in gaming revenue.

Plainridge Park Casino’s $13.8 million was slightly lower than in March when it generated $15.2 million.

Altogether the three casinos delivered $27.7 million in taxes to Massachusettes.

Marc Meltzer Avatar
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Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

View all posts by Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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