It’s Official! MassGaming launches first-of-its-kind responsible gaming initiative at Plainridge Park Casino
Pilot Program “PlayMyWay” Offers a Voluntary, High Tech Budgeting Tool for Slots Patrons
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is pleased to announce the official launch of “PlayMyWay”, a new responsible gaming initiative that provides casino patrons with a voluntary option to budget and track their play. Available June 9th at Plainridge Park Casino (PPC), the PlayMyWay program is an innovative budgeting tool designed to allow customers the ability to monitor the amount of money they spend on electronic gaming machines, and to support their decision to continue or stop play. PlayMyWay is an optional electronic system by which slot machine players will have an opportunity to personalize their play by setting a budget before they begin gambling.
A first-of-its-kind initiative in the United States, this pilot program is part of a comprehensive approach to responsible gaming strategies implemented by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, with a particular focus on problem gambling prevention and customer protection practices. PlayMyWay is intended to help players make decisions about gambling, allow them to monitor and understand their playing behavior in real time, and support their decisions. The PlayMyWay program is the latest tool added to MGC’s wide-ranging and unique responsible gaming framework known as GameSense.
“The PlayMyWay initiative provides MGC and Plainridge Park Casino with an important opportunity to advance responsible gaming by implementing technology that supports informed player choice. A player should have all the necessary information and resources available to make well-informed decisions on when to gamble, when to stop and how much to spend,” said Mark Vander Linden, MGC’s Director of Research and Responsible Gaming. “It is exciting to add this valuable tool to our distinctively comprehensive GameSense program.”
This test program is now offered to Marquee Rewards ® Card members at Plainridge Park Casino. Marquee Rewards ® players will have the opportunity to enroll in the program at any slot machine, GameSense Kiosk or at the GameSense Info Center located inside Plainridge Park Casino. The computerized program will prompt card holders to voluntarily choose a daily, weekly and/or monthly budget to track their spending at PPC. Once enrolled, patrons will receive automatic notifications as they approach 50% and 75% of the spent budget. Players will also receive a notification when they reach 100% of the budget and if they continue to play, notifications will be received at 25% intervals. This program is strictly voluntary and a player can un-enroll or adjust the budget at any time. A player can also choose to stop at any point or keep playing.
“Pursuant to a firm mandate from the Legislature, I am proud to acknowledge that Massachusetts has already established a series of unique new initiatives to promote responsible gaming, and is building a reputation nationwide as progressive innovators in responsible gaming strategies. We will continue to work with our licensees and our partners to design and implement the most comprehensive and effective responsible gaming program in the country,” said MGC Chairman Steve Crosby. “The development, launch and ongoing assessment of PlayMyWay is a team effort and I’d like to extend our appreciation to Scientific Games, Plainridge Park Casino, the Mass Council on Compulsive Gambling, and the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance for their continued collaboration and cooperation.”
MGC previously approved the adoption and implementation of PlayMyWay as a pilot program at Plainridge Park Casino. PlayMyWay is a custom-designed application developed by Scientific Games. The integrated play management software utilizes a simple, easy to understand interface that includes graphics to aid players. The total cost of development and implementation is approximately $150,000.
Lastly, MGC has contracted with the Cambridge Health Alliance to rigorously evaluate this test program for long-term effectiveness and usability. MGC will continue working closely with its strategic partners to closely monitor and assess the program’s functionality.
GameSense is an innovative and comprehensive Responsible Gaming strategy adopted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission as part of its mission to encourage responsible play and mitigate problem gambling. GameSense combines recommendations on responsible gaming techniques with interactive tools and exhibits meant to engage patrons at Massachusetts casino gaming facilities and online at GameSenseMA.com.
Each gaming establishment is required by statute to provide on-site space (the GameSense Info Center) for player education. There, patrons can learn about myths associated with gambling, the odds of the games they are playing, take a break, and seek support from a GameSense Advisor. The Commission is working with casino operators to ensure that responsible gaming signage and information is available to direct patrons to the GameSense Info Center.
The mission of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is to create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in November, 2011. In creating that process, the Commission will strive to ensure that its decision-making and regulatory systems engender the confidence of the public and participants, and that they provide the greatest possible economic development benefits and revenues to the people of the Commonwealth, reduce to the maximum extent possible the potentially negative or unintended consequences of the new legislation, and allow an appropriate return on investment for gaming providers that assures the operation of casino-resorts of the highest quality. For more information on MGC, please visit MassGaming.com or connect and share on Twitter (@MassGamingComm) or Facebook www.facebook.com/MAGamingComm.