WWLP Springfield: More than 1,000 people have sworn off gambling in Massachusetts

By Don Shipman

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 1,000 people have sworn off gambling at Massachusetts casinos, including MGM Springfield.

The state gaming commission says they’ve reached a voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) milestone with 1,020 active individuals.

Mark Vander Linden, MGC’s Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, said, “This milestone is significant but represents a small percentage of those struggling to control their gambling. The VSE program is designed to honor and support a person’s decision to stop gambling.”

People who enroll in the program aren’t able to enter any casino. Breaking the rule and getting caught would mean they’d have to forfeit their winnings. Each casino in the state, including MGM Springfield, has an info center on VSE if you are interested in joining or you can call the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line at 1-800-426-1234.

“We know that problem gambling can have devastating consequences, not just to the individual but everyone around them. Enrolling in the VSE program can be a significant step towards better health and relationships” said Marlene Warner, Executive Director of the MACGH.

In 2013 and 2014, research shows 2 percent, or roughly 110,000 adults in Massachusetts met the criteria for gambling problems and 8 percent, or 440,000 were at risk of experiencing harm.