For 40 years, The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) has focused on reducing the impacts of gambling disorder and advocating for responsible gambling practices. This year, in partnership with the MA Gaming Commission, Encore Boston Harbor, MGM-Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino and the American Gaming Association (AGA), we have elevated this commitment to player health. by extending Responsible Gaming Education Week to Responsible Gaming Education Month.
With the pending expansion of gambling with legalized sports betting there is no better time than to continue to educate and reinforce ways to keep yourself, your family and your friends healthy if you choose to gamble. .
The Mass. Council works with stakeholders to innovate and forge new avenues to support safe, healthy play year-round. Whether you’re a player, public health professional, regulator, policymaker, or operator, all of us have a role in encouraging responsible gaming.
Here’s six ways you can support and encourage safe, healthy play 24/7, 365.
1. Meet our team at a GameSense Information Center.
GameSense MA is an internationally-recognized responsible gaming program designed to support gambling literacy and healthy play. GameSense Advisors, who speak 13 languages and have thousands of hours of gaming experience, staff Centers at the three MA state casinos. The team is here to educate and support your responsible gaming through interactive activities and resources.
2. Set your playing budget with PlayMyWay.
PlayMyWay is a free voluntary budgeting tool to help you track limits while gambling. Use your rewards card, set a budget, and play! You’ll receive notifications as you near 75% and 100% of your pre-set budget. Patrons at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and — as of September 2022, Encore Boston Harbor – can enroll.
3. Check or build your gaming knowledge.
Not sure what your odds are in craps? Want to learn to play roulette? Know the facts before you dive up. Read up on the rules of popular games under the Myths & Games tab on GameSenseMA.com.
4. Chat with a GameSense Advisor over the GamLine or LiveChat.
We’re here to help you play responsibly, no matter the day or the hour. If you have gambling-related questions, you can reach us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1.800.GAM.1234 or via LiveChat at MACGH.org.
5. Consider taking a break with Voluntary Self-Exclusion.
Gambling is supposed to be fun. If it’s not anymore, you might think about enrolling in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) program. Over 1,500 Bay Staters have self-excluded. And at the onset of the pandemic, the Mass. Council was the first-of-its-kind in the world to offer secure remote enrollment options. For more information, call 1.800.GAM.1234 or message one of our trained professionals via LiveChat.
6. Power our advocacy.
As sports betting and online gaming enter new markets and continue their rapid growth, MACGH is working with the industry to promote responsible gaming initiatives. Make a contribution to MACGH to continue investments in regular casino employee training, patron education, and advocacy for strong consumer protections.
Share these resources with your networks — you never know who might find them helpful. These efforts are critical, and notably, effective. Approximately 90% of MA residents who choose to gamble do so without reporting a problem in the past 12 months. Together, we can continue to help each other make informed decisions about gambling.
The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
Director of Responsible Gaming