Responsible Gambling in Mass.

Assessing Responsible Gambling in Massachusetts

Principal Investigators: Debi LaPlante, PhD & Howard Shaffer, PhD, CAS
Funder: Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Timeline: 2015 – 2020

The Division partnered with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to conduct a multi-year evaluation of three responsible gambling tools designed to minimize potential harms associated with gambling opportunities. These tools are the PlayMyWay voluntary budgeting tool, the GameSense program, and Voluntary Self-Exclusion.

  • PlayMyWay is a voluntary budget-setting system that allows players to set non-binding monetary limits before gambling and to receive budget-related notifications about their spending while they gamble. The Division will examine use of PlayMyWay and potential links between PlayMyWay and gambling behavior. The outcomes of this evaluation will inform MGC’s decision to sustain, revise, or remove PlayMyWay from the Commonwealth’s responsible gambling toolbox.
  • GameSense  is an on-site player education center currently available at the Plainridge Park Casino. GameSense Advisors are charged with providing gambling-related information and responsible gambling support to Plainridge Park patrons. The Division’s GameSense evaluation will use multiple data collection methods to better understand the nature of and extended influence and impact of GameSense activities.
  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion lets individuals legally prevent themselves from entering gaming venues in Massachusetts in an effort to limit their exposure to casinos. The Division will conduct a longitudinal study of self-excluders to help identify gambling behavior predictors of entry into Voluntary Self-Exclusion so that the Commonwealth can develop interventions to prevent the emergence of gambling-related problems.