MGCB To Spend Additional $7 Million of Funding on RG Efforts

The funds will go towards public service announcements to promote ways to gamble responsibly and improving infrastructure.
MGCB To Spend Additional $7 Million of Funding on RG Efforts
July 12, 2022

Gambling has expanded greatly across Michigan in recent years, and it’s important for us as regulators to promote responsible gaming policies, programs, and essential services for Michigan residents. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has announced that it will spend $7 million in extra funding on promoting responsible gambling (RG) messages to residents. The additional funding will also be spent on investing in the Board’s IT infrastructure to help cope with the increased demands of the igaming industry.

The additional $7 million coming the MGCB’s way is thanks to a bipartisan deal that allowed legislative leaders to work together to unlock the extra funding for the Gaming Control Board. Currently, the funds are awaiting final approval from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer — with the funds estimated to be released to the MGCB by October 1, 2022.

“Gambling has expanded greatly across Michigan in recent years, and it’s important for us as regulators to promote responsible gaming policies, programs, and essential services for Michigan residents,” an MGCB spokesperson told MI Gaming Review. “This funding will be utilized to encourage responsible gaming methods, such as encouraging time limits, spending limits, cooling-off period, self-exclusion options, and directing citizens to other resources. We will use social media, and public service announcements (via radio, tv, and billboards) to support our message.”

The MGCB also emphasizes how its 2023 budget will help “strengthen [their] mission and integrity, support local charities, and educate Michigan citizens on ways to enjoy gaming responsibly.” The MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said via a press release, “I would like to thank Governor Whitmer and the legislature for their leadership and a budget deal that recognizes the crucial role the MGCB plays in ensuring fair and honest gaming in the State of Michigan.”

Ahead of March Madness this year, the MGCB issued a statement on its website reminding sports bettors that they can set limits on how much time and money they spend on a site. However, a social media campaign along with radio, TV, and billboard advertising will undoubtedly have more reach and hopefully be seen by more recreational players. Alongside sportsbook, the MGCB also regulates Michigan online poker apps and online casinos.

Public service campaigns like these are nothing new in other states that are also trying to educate their players on how to gamble responsibly. Over a bit further east, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) actively highlights ways players can stay in control when gambling online with a light, bright, contemporary RG campaign. In addition to these ads running on Twitter, the NYSGC also ran ads on YouTube — reminding players to:

  • Keep gambling fun.
  • Set time limits.
  • Set spend limits to control the amount that the player can wager.
  • Taking breaks when needed.
  • Step away from the action.
  • Avoid chasing losses.

Operators are also educating their players on how to implement limits on their sites. PokerStars notably upping the ante and running slick RG adverts in both the US and UK markets.

Responsible Gambling Tools at Michigan Online Poker Rooms, Casinos, and Sportsbooks Include:

Deposit Limits: Allow a player to control how much is deposited on the site by day, week, or month. Once the limit is reached, players will not be allowed to deposit any more into their account until that period concludes and the next one begins.

Play Time Limits: This allows players to set how much time they can spend on the site or app.

Time-Outs: These are enforced periods, during which players cannot spend any money on the site. While they vary somewhat between platforms, they are generally for shorter-term (less than six months) periods.

Self-Exclusion: This is when a player decides to ban themselves from being able to log on to an online casino, sportsbook, or poker room via either the operator or the state and can be anywhere from six months to six years to a lifetime.

The MGCB revealed to pokerfuse last month as part of a wide-ranging responsible gambling interview that self-excluding via the state is a highly effective way for players to remove themselves from the action.

“Operators and platform providers must offer opt-out options on their sites. Patrons are already on the site, and it’s easy to click to another part of the site to self-exclude. The operators and platform providers can offer more options for exclusion times: lifetime, six months, etc. However, those who wager on multiple sites would have to visit each site individually to self-exclude.”

Michigan offers players a chance to self-exclude from all sites operating in the state at once.

You can find a link to the form to self-exclude in Michigan here.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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