PHOTO: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission welcomes Japan’s Resourceful Center of Problem Gambling

Commissioner Enrique Zuniga, Gaming Technical Compliance Manager Scott Helwig show members of the Resourceful Center for Japanese Gambling the MGC Gaming Lab

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was pleased to recently host representatives from Japan’s Resourceful Center of Problem Gambling (RCPG). The RCPG, a private organization, is developing a comprehensive strategy to mitigate problem gambling given the July 2018 legalization of casino gaming in Japan. The newly-created RCPG is identifying international best practices in prevention and intervention for problem gambling, and expressed an interest in learning more about MGC’s unique approach to responsible gaming.

Commissioner Enrique Zuniga, Gaming Technical Compliance Manager Scott Helwig demonstrate PlayMyWay at the MGC Gaming Lab to members of the Resourceful Center for Problem Gambling

Commissioner Enrique Zuniga (far left) and Gaming Technical Compliance Manager Scott Helwig (middle left) demonstrate PlayMyWay at the MGC Gaming Lab to members of the Resourceful Center for Problem Gambling

The Japanese delegation came to visit the MGC following their attendance at the National Conference on Problem Gambling that just took place in Cleveland, Ohio.  RCPG members noted to MGC that Massachusetts is highly-regarded for its comprehensive responsible gaming framework. As the RCPG begins to contemplate the development of Japan’s responsible gaming strategy, the center sought to learn more from the MGC about the development and implementation of several initiatives including the GameSense program and the budgeting tool PlayMyWay.

RCPG representatives met with MGC’s Commissioner Enrique Zuniga and Director of Research and Responsible Gaming Mark Vander Linden.  The group discussed the importance and emphasis on research and protections embedded in the Massachusetts gaming law, the MGC’s adoption of the most promising practices, and the collaboration required among all stakeholders to most effectively implement the best overall program.  MGC emphasized that the cooperation and active engagement of all participants (licensees, Massachusetts Council of Compulsive Gambling and health partners) has been a key factor in the successful development of a robust program.

Commissioner Zuniga brought RCPG members on a tour of the GameSense Info Centers located at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino and provided a demonstration of the PlayMyWay tool also available at PPC.

“The MGC welcomes the opportunity to share our experiences and hope others find value in learning about our approach. The gaming law prioritized responsible gaming education and problem gambling mitigation. We continue to take our mandate seriously and are pleased that our efforts are viewed as progressive. We will continue to strive for consistent improvement and innovation, and we look forward to continued collaboration and shared ideas with our global colleagues,” said Commissioner Enrique Zuniga.

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