The first U.S. gaming venue to trial gambling control technology will be Penn National Gaming’s new slots parlor in Massachusetts. The commitment technology was developed to give players more control over their spending habits and reduce problem gambling behavior.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced on Thursday that Plainridge Park Casino will implement the new Play My Way technology by the end of May. Plainridge Park is Massachusetts’ first casino and it opened last June.
Play My Way was developed in the state with financial backing from Massachusetts’ new casino licensees. At the beginning of play patrons insert their casino reward card into a machine, and then they can set up daily, weekly or monthly betting limits in any gambling session. When a player approaches 50, 75 percent and 100 percent of their predetermined gambling expenditure they’ll automatically receive an onscreen reminder, according to the Associated Press. Limits can be adjusted by patrons and reaching a pre-set limit doesn’t cut them off from further play. If they choose, slots players can opt out altogether, at any time, from the system.
If successful, the “Play My Way” system will be imposed on future casino developments, says Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the MGC. However, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA), the technology hasn’t proved effective in casinos in Norway, Canada, Singapore, and other countries where it has been deployed. While doubts have been expressed by the AGA, the commission is determined to gauge the results for themselves.
If it is determined that Play My Way has some value in curbing gambling excesses the state’s casino’s in various stages of development, at a minimum, MGM Resorts’ MGM Springfield, and Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Everett, would be required to implement the feature when their facilities open.
Earlier this month Plainridge Park took some heat and implications were made that the casino was delaying the implementation of the tracking system in order to make more money. In response to the criticism, Crosby conducted media interviews and said that Plainridge had been nothing but cooperative and that the delay was caused by the MGC wanting to ensure that the system is developed and implemented properly instead of hastily.