Massachusetts to put social gaming under the microscope

Massachusetts to put social gaming under the microscope

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 Totally Gaming

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts has been asked by the US state’s Gaming Commission to disclose information about its new set of free online games, which have been criticised by some anti-gaming campaigners.

The commission said that it would invite experts on social gaming to attend the meeting with the casino, which has asked to make a presentation about the games to allay fears.

However, commission chairman Stephen Crosby has admitted that it is open to debate whether his organisation even has jurisdiction over social gaming.

“I think everyone is well served by us starting out on what is the social gaming phenomenon and what are the range of issues,” Crosby told the Boston Globe newspaper.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said recently that there is a risk of such online games being used “compulsively”. He added: “It is the action of gambling that is addictive, not the prizes.”

Plainridge executives have told commission member Lloyd Macdonald that they strongly object to the allegation that online games are “deceptive”.

Macdonald said that the issue was an “area of concern” and added: “If we find people are being lured into casinos by being misled, that ought to be of concern to us.”

The presentation from Plainridge is expected to take place in May. Representatives of Wynn Resorts and MGM Resort will also be invited to make presentations about social gaming.

TotallyGaming.com says:

The challenge facing Plainridge is a common one facing social gaming companies throughout the US, where the anti-gaming lobby is ready to fight any shift into the mainstream. This is also an interesting challenge for Crosby, who has been criticised repeatedly in recent years and in 2014 faced calls from five candidates for the position of state governor to stand down.

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