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Massachusetts Gaming Commission marks one year anniversary of PlayMyWay

15 June 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) marks the one year anniversary of the official implementation of PlayMyWay, a responsible gaming initiative that provides casino patrons with a voluntary option to budget and track their play. Launched on 9 June 2016 at Plainridge Park Casino, the PlayMyWay program is an innovative budgeting tool designed to allow customers the ability to monitor the amount of money they spend on electronic gaming machines, and to support their decision to continue or stop play. As of 12 June 2017, a total of 12,670 players have enrolled in the PlayMyWay program. This number represents more than 10% of eligible players. There are currently 10,857 players actively enrolled in the program, with total un-enrollment rate around 16%.

A first-of-its-kind initiative in the U.S., this pilot program is part of a comprehensive approach to responsible gaming strategies implemented by the Gaming Commission. PlayMyWay is intended to help players make decisions about gambling, allow them to monitor and understand their playing behavior in real time, and support their decisions. The PlayMyWay program is one of several tools included in MGC's wide-ranging and unique responsible gaming framework known as GameSense.

"I would like to commend the shared commitment demonstrated by GameSense staff, the Gaming Commission and Plainridge Park Casino as we continue to develop strategies to promote safe levels of play and mitigate problem gambling to the maximum extent possible," said Mark Vander Linden, MGC's Director of Research and Responsible Gaming. "Although we are encouraged by the early indications of player interest in this program, MGC will continue working closely with strategic partners to closely evaluate the program's long-term effectiveness and usability."

This test program is currently offered to Marquee Rewards Card members at Plainridge Park Casino. Marquee Rewards players have the opportunity to enroll in the program at any slot machine, GameSense Kiosk or at the GameSense Info Center located inside the casino. The computerized program prompts card holders to voluntarily choose a daily, weekly and/or monthly budget to track their spending at PPC. Once enrolled, patrons receive automatic notifications as they approach 50% and 75% of the spent budget. Players also receive a notification when they reach 100% of the budget and if they continue to play, notifications will be received at 25% intervals. This program is strictly voluntary and a player can un-enroll or adjust the budget at any time. A player can also choose to stop at any point or keep playing.

Lastly, MGC has contracted with the Cambridge Health Alliance to rigorously evaluate this test program to determine overall effectiveness. Evaluation is a key component of any responsible gambling program to ensure that objectives are initially met and most importantly remain effective. It is anticipated that the Cambridge Health Alliance will release a detailed and formal evaluation of PlayMyWay in August 2017. The final evaluation will include a basic epidemiology of Marquee Rewards Card gambling records, uptake, usage and perceptions and attitudes towards the program. Methodologies include the collection of de-identified player data as well as patron surveys.

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