Massachusetts Introduces Slots Self-Limiting Scheme For Players

In 2011, the Massachusetts Governor put his signature to the Expanded Gaming Act in order to pave the way for three licensed commercial casinos to open in the state. While MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor are expected to open for business in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Plainridge Park opened its doors in 2014, but has so far failed to implement the required measures set out in the Expanded Gaming Act that are designed to protect problem gamblers.
As a result, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is now preparing to launch its new “Play My Way” program which will allow gamblers the option to set monetary limits on their spending before playing slot machines. Commenting on the innovative management system, MGC Chairman Steve Crosby explained:
“No such system is in use anywhere in the United States. This pilot program is one tool in a much broader, comprehensive responsible gaming strategy to provide players with a range of information and education so that they can make informed choices about when to gamble, how much to spend and when to walk away.”
Plainridge Park has already welcomed the program, which also allows players to set time limits and automatic alerts for themselves, and is expected to adopt the system later this month. Similarly, the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling has hailed the scheme as being “truly a prevention tool”, with Executive Director Marlene Warner stating that her organization wants “people to keep gambling in a way that’s healthy and safe.”
Before casinos were legalised in Massachusetts, analysts estimated that the industry would generate between $300m and $500m in annual revenues. After a year of operations, the state’s sole casino, Plainridge Park, has thus far produced gross gaming revenues of $140.2 million, with $56 million then having been paid in state taxes, and the Race Horse Development Fund receiving a further $12.6 million.

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