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Massachusetts Gambling News

Massachusetts plans study on problem gambling among veterans

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) University of Massachusetts Amherst SPHHS

A recent Boston Globe article examines the prevalence of problem gambling among veterans, which the state of Massachusetts has targeted for a study by researchers. The article, citing data from the SEIGMA baseline survey, notes that respondents in military service since Sept. 11, 2001, reported a particularly high rate of problem gambling. 

“It’s a problem that definitely needs attention,” said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. Read more here.

MGM Springfield adopts problem-gambling prevention programs for casino

A recent Springfield Republican article explains MGM Springfield's problem-gambling prevention efforts, based upon the GameSense program developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The program, also adopted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, includes online resources about problem gambling and training for casino employees about how to spot respond to a gambler in distress. Signs of a distressed gambler, according to the article, include "pounding a fist on a roulette table, yelling out or simply spending more and more time at the slot machines". The article notes SEIGMA's baseline survey found a problem-gambling rate of 1.7 percent in the state before casinos had opened. Read more here.

Plainridge Park Casino reports on totals for PlayMyWay program signups

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission released figures indicating that signups for the PlayMyWay program at Plainridge Park Casino totaled 3,216 people, or about 7.4 percent of the regular customer base at the slot casino. The Sun Chronicle reports an additional 135 people voluntarily added themselves to a list of those banned from the casino due to their gambling addiction. Read more here.

Wynn Resorts awarded environmental license for Everett casino site

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded an environmental license to Wynn Resorts for their proposed casino at a site in Everett. The Boston Herald notes in an article that the city of Somerville had challenged the license after the DEP initially awarded it earlier in 2016. Read more here.

Former Massachusetts Gambling Commissioner describes agency's launch

James McHugh, a member of the Massachusetts Gambling Commission (MGC) from 2012-2015, recently penned an article describing his time on the MGC which encompassed the beginnings of the agency through the opening of the first gambling location under the Expanded Gambling Act-the slot parlor at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. "At this point, the commission is a little over four years old and is well into a transformation from a startup focused primarily on licensing and formulation of policy to a mature body in full regulatory mode," he writes in CommonWealth magazine. Read more here.

Holyoke Community College partners with MGM to open culinary training center

Officials at Holyoke Community College have announced they are partnering with MGM Resorts International to open a culinary training center in Holyoke. The Springfield Republican reports the center will be funded in part by $400,000 from Holyoke's neighboring community impact funds, as well as $100,000 in direct funds from MGM. Read more here.

Plainville slot parlor approaches anniversary of opening, and industry and officials gauge its success

As Plainridge Park Casino, the slot parlor in Plainville, reached the one year anniversary of its June 24 opening, officials and members of the gambling industry have spoken with the press to gauge its success. The Sun Chronicle reports mixed successes, with jobs and revenue generated, but not exceeding expectations. Read more here.

Mashpee Wampanoag break ground on tribal casino in Taunton

Mashpee Wampanoag tribal leaders led a ceremony marking the beginning of construction on First Light Resort & Casino, a 150,000 square-foot facility in Taunton that the tribe hopes to open as early as June 2017. The Springfield Republican reports the tribe expects its casino, which is exempt as a tribal facility from the state's casino licensing process, will open before either MGM Springfield or Wynn Boston Harbor. Read more here.

State announces system allowing gamblers to choose limits to losses

"Play My Way," a new system piloted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), will allow gamblers to set limits on how much money they can spend during a casino visit. According to television station CBS Boston, participants in the program will receive notifications when they reach 25, 50, and 75 percent of their chosen "budget." Read more here.

Mashpee Wampanoag win federal approval for land holdings, clearing way for tribal casino

The federal government approved the Mashpee Wampanoag's tribe taking control of several hundred acres in Southeastern Massachusetts for a tribal reservation. The Boston Globe article notes the decision allows the tribe to move forward with plans for a proposed casino in Taunton, bringing into question the viability of a project slated for Brockton that would claim the state's last casino license under the Expanded Gaming Act. Read more here.

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