Research & Responsible Gaming Director Mark Vander Linden brings expertise to gaming regulators conference

The MGC’s Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, Mark Vander Linden, spoke at the North American Gaming Regulator’s Association Conference on June 8, 2022 in Portland, Maine. The topic of the discussion was: “Finding your footing on the precarious path of reducing gambling-related harm.”

NAGRA’s description of the session, which was moderated by NAGRA’s Joan Scott, reads as follows:

The legalization of casinos and lotteries in the United States has boomed over the past 30 years. Now, legal sports betting is sweeping the nation, leaving little doubt that a new wave of expansion is here. Given this rapidly changing landscape, there are important considerations in order to prevent and mitigate gambling-related harms. Where do we focus our efforts? What’s the evidence telling us? It’s safe to say there’s no clear path forward, but there’s no need to panic. Presenters in this session will make the case that slim but convincing evidence necessitates a focus on public health strategies spanning the physical and digital space and will require the cooperation of many stakeholders. 

Director Vander Linden’s remarks during the session focused on efforts to mitigate gambling-related harm through things like Responsible Gaming initiatives and the MGC’s Research Agenda. Those initiatives are driven by the goal of creating a sustainable, accountable and socially responsible approach to gaming in the Commonwealth, while the Commission’s Research Agenda – through mobilized and actionable research – creates evidence to inform effective problem gambling prevention and mitigation measures.

Those efforts to help mitigate gambling-related harm to the maximum extent possible help fully realize the economic benefits of casino gambling.

“Change comes most readily when you size up what’s standing in your way and then tailor your solution to match the obstacle,” Director Vander Linden said at the conference, reiterating that achieving responsible gaming goals is a shared responsibility between regulators, operators and gamblers.

Check out Director Vander Linden’s presentation from the conference here.

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