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IAGR selects MGC Director of Research and Responsible Gaming Mark Vander Linden as member of annual conference’s speaker series

As part of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR)’s efforts to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of gaming regulation, MGC Director of Research and Responsible Gaming Mark Vander Linden was recently named a speaker for the association’s 2021 conference in Boston, originally scheduled to be held in September 2020.

Director Vander Linden has been with the MGC since 2013, managing an extensive research agenda to advance the understanding of responsible gaming, gambling disorders, and the social and economic impacts of gambling in the Commonwealth.

“Historically, regulators and operators have focused their attention on connecting persons experiencing gambling-related harm (problem gambling) with resources.  While this is essential, it’s a reactive approach that fails to recognize that problem gambling can be prevented,” Director Vander Linden said. “By applying a public health model, regulators and the industry can create a sustainable, accountable, and socially responsible approach to gambling.”

Additionally, he works collaboratively with casino operators and other stakeholders on a range of casino and community-based responsible gaming initiatives, including GameSense, the MGC’s responsible gaming program.

GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gaming program that encourages players to adopt behaviors and attitudes that reduce the risk of gambling-related harm. Operated by the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, GameSense Info Centers are located at each casino property and staffed by trained advisors. GameSense Advisors equip players and employees with information, tips and tools to keep gambling a safe and enjoyable experience.

“Massachusetts has taken its statutory mandate to mitigate gambling-related harm seriously,” Vander Linden said. “This session will challenge traditional thinking on how to support responsible gaming and provide participants with a model to promote positive play and mitigate gambling harm.”

The MGC embraces the opportunity to share experiences with our global counterparts. Collaboration is critical to advancing modern strategies and identifying the most promising policies and practices. We are proud of the Commonwealth’s strong gaming law and hope others benefit from its prudence.

We look forward to welcoming the IAGR in 2021 and showcasing to our fellow gaming regulators from around the world what Massachusetts has to offer.

About IAGR:

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been a member of the IAGR for seven years, and this annual conference is a major event for gaming regulators and industry stakeholders. The MGC is thrilled that the IAGR chose Massachusetts to host such an important week in the industry’s calendar, now taking place from September 12, 2021 through September 17, 2021.

Each year, the conference provides a forum for regulators from around the world to exchange ideas and discuss policy issues, along with other international gaming industry representatives, including those from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America.  As a result, the IAGR recently sought speakers who are looking to impact and provoke thinking and debate, and to discuss known and emerging trends in the industry, regulatory policy/practice, and research.

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