The GameSense program was launched in the state of Massachusetts in 2015. The program assists individuals who feel they have a gambling problem. Since GameSense started, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has placed 571 individuals into the self-exclusion program. The option to self-exclude is voluntary and places restrictions on players from entering the gaming floors of casinos in the state.
The commission has revealed that 485 individuals are now participating in the program. Players can self-exclude via the Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, or off-site at various locations including the commission. Encore Boston Harbor, scheduled to open soon, will become another location where players can choose to self-exclude from gaming.
GameSense advisors meet with individuals who wish to enroll. The advisor answers questions and can offer recommendations for treatment or support groups.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission Director of Research and Responsible Gaming Mark Vander Linden said: “Although we recognize the decision to limit your gambling can be difficult, enrolling in the program is not. We are steadfast in our commitment to provide the people of Massachusetts with the tools necessary to empower consumer decisions about healthy levels of play, and when it may be time to step away.”
Enrolling in the program
Regulators are encouraging gamblers to use the GameSense program, especially with the new casino set to open soon. At the Encore Boston Harbor, players who are on the self-exclusion list can still visit the property, just not the gaming floor. Those enrolled are allowed to dine at the on-site restaurants and to visit lounges, the spa, and other amenities. Anyone who is on the self-exclusion list will be banned from the gaming floor.
Players in the state who wish to enroll can do so at a casino in the state, the commission building, or at other sites offering voluntary self-exclusion. Once the forms have been signed, the self-exclusion time frame begins. Players select a time frame in their paperwork and it cannot be changed. Players who have an Encore Rewards card will have their account deactivated. Any points on the card can be redeemed at cash value.
Once enrolled, a player can speak with a counselor or a problem gambling professional at no charge. According to the GameSense program, individuals who take part in counseling while self-excluded have a better success rate of regaining control of their gambling habits.