Where Does Mass. Rank Among States Addressing Problem Gambling?

Where Does Mass. Rank Among States Addressing Problem Gambling?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It has been four days since the launch of mobile Massachusetts sports betting, with a new customer base learning parlays, round-robins, player props and, oh yeah, picking March Madness brackets.

Bay State residents are also learning that, across the country, March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Each state that has legalized wagering in any form is responsible for increasing the public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services. Many of the Massachusetts betting apps, sites and retail sportsbooks also have programs in place to combat a problem that can come in an individual's life in an instant.

Where Mass. Ranks in Spending Per Person

Looking at the gambling landscape across the country, BetMassachusetts.com utilized gamingamericas.com to determine which states spend the most funds per capita to combat problem gambling. 
Ironically, the First State (Delaware) ranks No. 1 on the list at $1.44 per individual. Delaware has a wide array of gambling options: retail sportsbooks, online casinos, horse racing, lotteries and daily fantasy sports. 
Oregon was second, three cents behind Delaware at $1.41 per individual. The Beaver State has online sports betting, mobile horse racing, lotteries and daily fantasy sports but no iGaming.

No. 3 was North Dakota at $1.05 per person. The Peace Garden State has no sports betting or iGaming but does have mobile horse racing, lotteries and daily fantasy sports. Iowa at $0.99 per person ranks fourth.

Massachusetts, which launched retail (Jan. 31) and mobile (March 10) sports betting this year, is serious about attacking problem gambling. The Bay State ranks fifth nationally at $0.98 per individual. Neighbor Connecticut is sixth at $0.90.

StateMoney Spent per CapitaRank
North Dakota$1.053rd


Massachusetts Making People Aware

Six mobile providers launched their mobile betting apps on March 10. They are:

Three other operators – BallyBet, Betr and Fanatics – will launch over the next couple of months. Betway aims to launch in the first quarter of 2024.

Before the launch of retail sports betting in the state on Jan. 31, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) expanded options to help people to control their gambling, announcing the creation of a Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) established specifically for sports wagering.

“With sports wagering becoming available in the Commonwealth, ensuring all players have the resources they need is paramount to the MGC and responsible gaming efforts,” Mark Vander Linden, Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, said in a news release this month. “By mobilizing the data and research we have collected, we can advance responsible gaming strategies, practices, and policies, as well as prevention, treatment, and recovery resources.”

This month also marks the one-year anniversary of PlayMyWay’s launch at MGM Springfield.

All three Massachusetts casinos offer the slot machine-based budgeting tool following PlayMyWay’s launch at MGM Springfield in March 2022 and at Encore Boston Harbor in September of the same year. PlayMyWay allows patrons to voluntarily set a budget at the slot machine and receive reminders as they approach their budget.

With advisors on-site at each casino property and available 24/7 online or over the phone, GameSense is the MGC’s statewide responsible gaming program. GameSense advisors are available to educate gaming employees and patrons on tips to keep play safe, support player health, and access community-based support resources.

“Reducing gambling-related harm and promoting safe play are central pieces of the mission of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission,” MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said. “Our efforts to offer programs and initiatives to achieve those goals in understanding and addressing problem gambling are a Commission-wide effort that includes everyone. We are proud to once again recognize and promote Problem Gambling Awareness Month.”

BetMassachusetts.com will keep you up to date on state issues, including problem gambling awareness. The site also is your best source for Massachusetts betting promos.



Lou Monaco

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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