State regulators in Massachusetts have found that responsible gaming tools offered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) are not being widely utilized. The commission announced plans to hold a responsible gaming conference on May 14 in Worcester, in collaboration with the Northeast Council on Problem Gambling. The goal of the conference is to explore ways in which responsible gaming programs might better serve consumers.

Mark Vander Linden, the MGC’s director of research and responsible gaming, highlighted the changing nature of gambling over the past decade and in Massachusetts. He emphasized the need to take the evidence of these changes and rewrite the playbook on responsible gaming.

The commercial gaming industry in Massachusetts has seen significant success since the opening of three casinos. However, the MGC is concerned about the potential negative impact on players prone to excessive risk. Despite the success of gambling in the state, responsible gaming tools such as the “Cool Off” mechanism offered by operators like DraftKings have not been widely adopted by players.

Chair Cathy Judd-Stein stated that increasing the use of responsible gaming tools is a priority for the commission. Massachusetts has been at the forefront of responsible gaming initiatives, being the first state to introduce GameSense, a responsible gaming program developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, to its casinos. The program aims to educate players about casino games and the odds they face.

The MGC is striving to increase participation in responsible gaming programs in the state and has partnered with the Northeast Council on Problem Gambling to host a conference in May. The conference will bring together insights from more than 10 years of player data to discuss and consider new approaches to responsible gaming. The ultimate goal is to enhance the effectiveness of responsible gaming programs and support problem players in the state.

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