Massachusetts Gaming Commission launches Voluntary Self-Exclusion list for sports wagering

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has announced the launch of a unique Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) list specifically for Massachusetts sports wagering, ahead of its official launch in the state on January 31st. Individuals will have an option to now self-exclude from casino gaming floors, retail and digital sportsbooks or both forms of gambling.

For individuals wishing to exclude themselves from retail sportsbook and/or mobile and online sports wagering apps, they’re able to enroll in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion over the phone, online through or in-person a the responsible gaming GameSense Info Center at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield or Encore Boston Harbor.

How have MGC’s previous VSE programs gone?

MGC statistics state that since the first casino opened in Massachusetts in 2015, more than 1,700 people have enrolled in MGC sponsored VSE programs for casino gaming, and there are currently 1,329 still enrolled across the state. The program is self-explanatory, it allows bettors who want to regain control of their gambling to restrict themselves from gambling facilities for a pre-determined amount of time. Academic research surrounding the subject is championed by the MGC, as shown below.

Massachussetts Gaming Commission Chair Catchy Judd-Stein commented: ““VSE programs are proven to be a successful tool for those who need a break from gambling to manage their own play. In light of research we have at our disposal, the MGC and our licensees are committed to offering these types of programs and a range of other resources to help gamblers in the Commonwealth.”

An early evaluation of the VSE program in Massachusetts found that enrollees reported significant improvements in gambling problems, mental health, and relationship quality six months after enrolling.

Mark Vander Linden, MGC Director of Research and Responsible Gambling, went on to emphasize that VSE’s are not necessarily a complete fix, but a very helpful start: “While VSE is one way to help people struggling with a gambling problem, we highly recommend they also seek treatment from a qualified clinician”

“Massachusetts has provided innovation and leadership in the realms of problem and responsible gambling,” said Marlene Warner, CEO of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health.  “This early and comprehensive approach to VSE continues in that tradition. We hope that anyone in need of a conversation and some help with minimizing the impact gambling has on their life will consider this evidence-based program.”

Recently the NBA opted into the AGA’s ‘Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly’ campaign in the latest pledge for statewide responsible gaming measures. The NBA joined the likes of the MLB and NHL, leaving the NFL as the only one of the biggest three sports in the United States to not be a part of the campaign.