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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission that aims to create a fair, transparent and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law made loud and clear about its support and recognition of March 2018 as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM).
PGAM is a national public awareness and outreach campaign framed to bring awareness to issues associated with problem gambling and to throw light on the national and local resources available to back up individuals and families. This month, MGC will put forward an upgraded version of its Responsible Gaming Framework. Originally published in 2014, the RGF was intended to inform gaming regulation in Massachusetts and provide an overall orientation to the responsible gaming practices and policies adopted by MGC and its licensees.
After a comprehensive review process which comprised participation of independent experts and members of the recovery community, the latest RGF now comprise updated key principles, expanded strategies rooted in the most contemporary research.
MGC is currently advancing a new marketing and advertising campaign for the GameSense programme, MGC’s innovative and comprehensive responsible gaming strategy to propel responsible play and mitigate programme gambling. Anticipated to launch this summer, the new outreach campaign will extend to Western Massachusetts looking forward to the MGM Springfield opening.
Throughout the month, MGC will implement a targeted social media campaign to increase awareness about problem gambling prevention and the resources available. Working hand-in-hand with MGC, GameSense Advisors at Plainridge Park Casino will conduct a series of training and awareness-building activities for casino employees.
MGC remains committed to its robust research agenda and using findings to further inform problem gambling intervention, prevention and treatment strategies. Last month, the MGC released the first significant report of the Massachusetts gaming impact cohort study. Information from this study provides new and much-needed information about problem gambling incidence rates and behavioural trajectory. This study will yield important information leading to tailored treatment and prevention programs.
MGC supports the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Gambling Disorder Screening Day. On 13 March 2018, the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction and Outpatient Addiction Services are sponsoring a Gambling Disorder Screening Day as part of the Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion (CHARGE) Initiative.
“In an extraordinary effort to mitigate any negative consequences of the casinos, the Casino Law established a Public Health Trust Fund that — when all of the casinos open — will operate with US$15-20 million a year to fund a comprehensive research agenda and an extremely robust deployment of public health strategies to promote responsible gaming and combat problem gaming. The Fund is administered by a unique partnership between the Department of Public Health and the MGC,” said MGC Chairman Stephen Crosby. “PGAM provides an important opportunity to highlight the innovation and forward-thinking approach demonstrated by the Massachusetts Legislature when developing the gaming statute.”
MGC’s Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, Mark Vander Linden, said: “We acknowledge the tremendous pain and suffering experienced by individuals with a gambling problem and their loved ones. We will do everything that we possibly can to prevent this by funding research, creating effective programs and increasing awareness.”
Source: European Gaming Industry News