Michigan Gaming Control Board Talks Responsible Gaming
Over 10,000 citizens have self-excluded from various platforms.
The Michigan Gaming Control Commission (MGCB) which oversees online gambling regulation in the state, announced this month that Michigan would join an online poker pact with markets in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey – a move that was formalized as MGCB put pen to paper and sign the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA).
The addition of Michigan to the MSIGA will see the four states’ combined player pools grow from around 13 million to 23.5 million people. With such a large contingent having access to the multi-state online poker networks offered by MSIGAit will be even more important for the regulator to make its responsible gambling offerings as robust as possible.
All of Michigan’s online gaming operators offer players ways to get away from the tables – but the MGCB also offers players a way to opt out for longer periods on all online gambling operators in the state in one fell swoop. This way, a player does not have to self-exclude from each site individually, but can do so only once through the state regulator’s site.
In an extensive interview, Mary Kay Bean, Communications Specialist at the Michigan Gaming Control Board, tells us more about the responsible gaming efforts undertaken by the Board. The board lifted the lid on how players can self-exclude themselves by adding themselves to the Responsible Gambling Database and how it might not be as much work as it appears at first glance.
Are you planning a public awareness/social media campaign to alert Michigan residents to responsible gambling tools?
Governor Whitmer’s fiscal year 2023 budget request included $3 million for the agency to launch a responsible gambling awareness campaign, which would include social media. The fiscal year begins on October 1. The legislature is currently working on budget bills for the next fiscal year. By law, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services receives funding for the treatment, prevention, training, research, and evaluation of problem gamblers and their families from the annual evaluation fees paid each year by gaming licensees. Fees go to the Problem Gambling Prevention Fund, and the Legislature allocates funds to MDHHS of the fund.
In calendar year 2021, the Problem Gambling Prevention Fund received $2 million from the State Service Fee Fund (Detroit Casino Fee) and $500,000 each from the Internet Gaming Fund and the Internet Sports Betting Fund (expenses for Internet games and sports betting). MGCB collaborates monthly with MDHHS and the Michigan Lottery regarding problem gambling issues and concerns, thinking about how to meet the needs of citizens, and determining methods to implement tools to address problem gambling.
Currently, the Responsible Gaming section of our agency has developed responsible gaming printed materials, including resources for receiving assistance, which we distribute to citizens and groups across the state, as well as the three commercial casinos. from Detroit. Our Responsible Gaming section will also make in-person presentations to community outreach groups upon request.
Our priority is to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan.
How do you view responsible gambling as part of your membership in the MSIGA – Will anything change? Will things stay the same?
Our priority is to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan while continuing to follow the law and associated administrative rules. Operators have a direct connection to each player, so it’s important to be aware of the user experience and step in when needed to promote responsible gaming efforts. We require sites to include information on where to find resources and help.
The MGCB has a long history of working in self-exclusion as we have administered a program for commercial casinos in Detroit for over 20 years. Additionally, our agency is a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling, allowing us to increase our impact on responsible gambling with nationwide access to networking opportunities, webinars and the ability to collaborate and solve problems. gambling. Although we cannot predict what might happen after the start of multi-jurisdictional poker, we are ready to meet the responsible gambling needs of our citizens.
Gambling should be a leisure and entertainment activity. It’s important to know your limits and use the self-limiting options if you need help.
Do you have any RG tips for new MI players?
Gambling should be a leisure and entertainment activity. It’s important to know your limits and use the self-limiting options if you need help. If the problem gets worse, rule yourself out and see a professional.
The MGCB has worked closely with carriers and platform providers to ensure they include many options on their sites. A range of options also help those who want to set limits but aren’t ready to forbid themselves. These options include self-imposed game limits such as deposits, bets and time-based options which can be changed with 24 hours notice.
Players should familiarize themselves with self-management tools typically found in the customer service section of operator or platform provider sites. In addition to self-imposed game limits, each site must inform the public of Gambling Disorders Helpline, 800-270-7117including information about United States-based organizations dedicated to helping people with potential gambling problems, and informing the public of information about the MGCB website.
What are the benefits of a player choosing to self-exclude via the MGCB rather than through the online gaming company directly?
For those who want to unsubscribe from all sitesthe MGCB has a self-exclusion option. An individual can opt out of online gaming (and/or online sports betting) for one or five years.
Operators and platform providers are required to provide opt-out options on their sites. Contributors are already on the site and it’s easy to click on another part of the site to self-exclude. Operators and platform providers may offer more options for exclusion durations: lifetime, six months, etc. However, those betting on multiple sites should visit each site individually to self-exclude.
The MGCB offers extensive self-exclusion services in one place – the Responsible Gambling Database.
Do you think the process of adding players to the RG database could be streamlined in any way?
We are always looking for ways to improve productivity. It is important to ensure that candidates understand their gambling problem and the ramifications of their choices. For example, some providers may choose to extend the online gaming self-exclusion to physical properties in Michigan and other states and to their sites in other states.
Do you think the waiting period of more than 45 days is an acceptable period for players waiting to be added to the responsible gaming database?
The MGCB informs applicants that the process can take up to 45 days or more. The process may be shorter or longer depending on the completeness of the applicant’s application and the volume of applications being processed. It is important to ensure the MGCB has complete and correct information so that the self-exclusion can be implemented correctly.
Do you still need in-person visits if someone wants to self-exclude?
Nominations can be submitted in three ways:
- Complete the application in person at our Detroit office
- Email the request to [email protected]
- Send the request via US Mail to our Detroit office
Some applicants may need an interpreter, which could add more time to the process. For those wishing to self-exclude from Detroit’s three casinos, an in-person visit is required.
How many people are in the RG database, and approximately how many people self-exclude in this way each month/year in MI?
The Responsible Gambling Database was launched in early 2021. At the public Board meeting in April, Executive Director Williams reported that, as of March 31, 2022, 161 candidates had requested a placement with the RGD. Of these, 135 people were placed on the online gambling list and 125 were placed on the online sports betting list. As the information was incomplete, 23 requests were returned for additional information. Three requests were pending.
Operators and platform providers have reported that more than 10,000 citizens have self-excluded from various platforms.
Information will be updated at the public Council meeting on June 7, 2022.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with gambling addiction or harmful gambling behaviors, learn more about specific resources available in your state as well as nationwide assistance in our sister site Poker Shield’s guide to identifying gambling addiction and how to get help