GameSense, New Horizons, welcome, and farewell

MassGamingLast week was an incredibly busy one for BCLC responsible gambling team.  First, on Monday morning the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced its intention to launch BCLC’s well-recognized GameSense responsible gambling brand in new casinos planned for that State.  This comes several months after the Commission adopted a new responsible gambling framework intended to inform plans for implementing a variety of RG measures into the new casinos.


Mark VanderLinden, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, likes the GameSense brand.

“In advance of introducing casinos in the state, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission sought to identify the world’s most promising and advanced responsible gaming practices,” said Mark VanderLinden, Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, at MassGaming. “Given the success of BCLC’s GameSense strategy, it was clear to the Commission that adopting this innovative brand will greatly enhance our overall efforts to promote responsible gaming and effectively communicate with our citizens.”

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Happy Holidays from all of us at BCLC


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Christmas may be for kids, but gambling products aren’t

960x540-GameSense-AdEach year at this time the McGill University’s Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors and the Washington-based National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) partner to deliver a message to parents everywhere: encouraging kids to gamble is a bad idea.

Many problem gamblers report gambling at a young age (as young 9 or 10 years) started them on a path that ultimately proved costly both financially and personally.  The fact is that kids’ brains develop over time, and the ability to appropriate assess risk does not fully evolve until early adulthood. Continue reading

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Even low risk gamblers can benefit from responsible gambling tools

CheckMarkIn 2012 I wrote a blog post  reporting on a panel discussion I had attended a few weeks earlier.  In it, a group of researchers was highlighting what they collectively felt was an inherent limitation with most gambling research: what we’ve learned about problem gambling generally comes from studying problem gamblers.  Researchers are not focusing on non-problem or recreational gamblers: those that are not experiencing, or may never experience, problems with their gambling.

“Why would this be important?” I asked rhetorically.  “Because by understanding recreational behaviors, we can compare them to those that typify problem gamblers and gain better perspectives on what may be happening.”

Two years later a couple of researchers have now published a paper that tackles this very challenge. Continue reading

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Are FIFA goalkeepers misinformed gamblers?

soccer goalOne of our GameSense team leaders recently sent along an article in which the activities of many of the best goalkeepers competing at the recent FIFA World Cup were seen as operating from a similar mythology to that of many gamblers: the so-called gambler’s fallacy.

The gambler’s fallacy (sometimes called the Monte Carlo fallacy) suggests that in the case of a series of random events resulting in the same outcome over a period of time, it will be less likely to happen over the next period of time.  For example, suppose someone flips a coin five times and all five times the coin comes up heads.  Someone operating from the gambler’s fallacy perspective is likely to believe the next toss will have a high probability of resulting in tails.  However the actual chances of the next result being tales is exactly the same as it was for each previous toss: 50-50. Continue reading

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