SPRINGFIELD – Giving yourself some limits to your gaming is as easy as putting your MLife card into a slot machine and following a few prompts.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MCG) introduced its newest tool to address problem gambling on March 31 at MGM Springfield.
Mark Vander Linden, director of research and responsible gaming for the MCG, explained “PlayMyWay” is available at MGM Springfield and the Plainridge Park Casino and will be at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett in the fall.
The Springfield casino has featured the Game Sense program to assist people during a discussion about problem gaming.
“PlayMyWay” was described as another option to help people make the decisions right for them.
Vander Linden said MGM Springfield has been a “incredible partner” and Chris Kelly, president and COO of MGM Springfield, said it was a “milestone moment” for the casino.
He added that “PlayMyWay” is “a very user-friendly tool” that “keeps an eye on their budget on the highest levels.”
A demonstration was provided in the high rollers room. After inserting the MLife card, the patron can set a voluntary limit to his or her gaming. This information is carried from slot machine to slot machine throughout the casino. The program works with any electronic game but not table games.
As explained in a press release, “The program will prompt card holders to voluntarily choose a daily, weekly and/or monthly budget to track their spending at MGM. Once enrolled, patrons will receive automatic notifications as they approach and reach the budget they set. If a player continues to play, notifications will be received at 25 percent intervals. This program is voluntary, and a player can un-enroll or adjust the budget at any time.”
“It’s common for players to spend more than they intended as gambling activities can move fast, and the cost of each spin isn’t always clear,” said Marlene Warner, executive director for the Massachusetts Council on Gambling and Health, in a written statement. “PlayMyWay allows players to voluntarily pre-commit to a spending budget and then adds helpful transparency to their spending in real-time, empowering them to make informed and healthy choices.”
Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris of Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services said that MGM Springfield “has always been a responsible public health partner.”
Patrons who are interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to visit the GameSense Info Center inside MGM Springfield.