MGC launches new GameSense brand, redesigned website and integrated campaign
Enhanced Responsible Gaming Initiative Unveiled in Advance of Historic Opening of State’s First Destination Resort-Casino
In honor of the upcoming Responsible Gaming Education Week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is excited to debut the latest adaptation of its groundbreaking responsible gaming program, GameSense. MGC’s newly enhanced version of the GameSense program features a refurbished brand identity, a redesigned website and a comprehensive outreach strategy to encourage and promote positive play as the state prepares for the historic opening of its first destination resort-casino, MGM Springfield, in August 2018.
GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gaming program that encourages players to adopt behaviors and attitudes that reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. The MGC adopted GameSense from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) three years ago after proactively identifying the program as the most robust responsible gaming program in the world. As the program continues to garner international recognition and praise for its effectiveness, the BCLC-led brand has evolved resulting in an overall new look, feel and tone.
“The new GameSense brand masterfully captures four essential pillars of engagement: it’s educational, the tips and tools help players play smarter; it’s supportive, it is not there to judge, but to inform; it’s approachable, the messaging is welcoming and lighthearted; and it’s relatable, adopting a fun and occasionally humorous style,” said Mark Vander Linden, MGC’s director of research and responsible gaming. “We are thrilled to bring this effort to the next level and look forward to our continued coordination with key partners as we implement the enhanced program and expand its outreach throughout Western Massachusetts.”
MGC partnered with the marketing firm, KHJ Brand Activation, to implement the new brand identity and further customize the concept to highlight the unique program elements distinct to Massachusetts such as the on-site casino availability of GameSense Info Centers and GameSense advisors. To that end, MGC worked closely with KHJ to develop a comprehensive communications campaign to raise program awareness and provide improved educational tools through a redesigned website, updated promotional materials, and digital and mobile strategies.
The new mobile-friendly website GameSenseMA.com features the theme “Pearls of GameSense by Chip.” A fictional GameSense Advisor and positive play ambassador, “Chip,” introduces the notion of GameSense as “a higher state of gambling wisdom that any player can achieve” by following the program’s valuable tips and advice. The website is populated with entertaining videos of “Chip” dispelling popular gambling myths and offering “pearls” or practical tips about responsible play. The website also offers extensive recommendations for responsible gaming techniques, interactive tools, myth-busting games, and valuable information about how to access support resources and services such as the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program.
As part of a sustained outreach and education effort, the campaign will raise awareness through advertising, marketing and digital strategies. The advertising campaign, launching mid-August, will reach across Western Massachusetts and include traditional, transit, and digital advertising. The marketing strategy includes extensive in-casino signage at both MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino promoting the availability of the GameSense Info Center and GameSense advisors. The online ads will be distributed according to behavior targeting or web-browsing behavior to maximize the campaign’s effectiveness and target audience reach.
View additional marketing and advertising materials here.
“The new campaign cleverly communicates important information about responsible gaming. By design, the website highlights the role of the GameSense Advisor as a knowledgeable, friendly and approachable resource for information and advice at Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield,” said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling and GameSense partner. “As casino gambling expands across the state, it is now more important than ever to educate residents about the programs and support services available. We enthusiastically support this outreach campaign and would like to thank all of the participants for their strong commitment to minimizing any potential harm.”
“GameSense has been a tremendous success and is already transforming the way the industry approaches responsible gambling. With GameSense, responsible gambling education and outreach is integrated into our guest service model, ensuring players have the tools and resources to keep gambling a safe, enjoyable experience,” said MGM Resorts International. “We thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for their partnership and dedication to promoting responsible gambling and look forward to continuing our collaboration on this important issue.”
“Early evaluation is showing that the GameSense program is effectively preventing gambling-related harm. We believe this is exactly the type of initiative that was envisioned by the legislature when they sought to expand gaming but do so in a manner that minimized harm to the maximum extent possible. Our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement will only make this program better over time,” said MGC Chairman Steve Crosby.
Introduced by BCLC in 2009, GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages players to adopt behaviors and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. This includes setting and sticking to personally-allocated time and monetary limits for gambling, as well as being open and honest with family, friends and oneself when it comes to personal gambling habits. GameSense has earned international recognition such as the World Lottery Association’s Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program (2010), and the U.S. – based National Council on Problem Gambling’s Social Responsibility Award (2015). In addition to being licensed and piloted at MGM Resort International casino properties, the program has been implemented by Connecticut Lottery, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Canadian provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In Massachusetts, each gaming establishment is required by statute to provide on-site space (the GameSense Info Center) for player education. Massachusetts is the only jurisdiction in the country required by law to offer responsible gaming resources onsite. 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 GameSense program 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.
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.
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