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Plainridge Park Casino, the state's first and only slots parlor, on Thursday will offer participants in its rewards card program a new option to track their gambling spending, the Gaming Commission announced Wednesday.
Known as PlayMyWay, the "responsible gaming initiative" will be available on all slot machines at the Plainville facility, allowing players to budget their daily, weekly or monthly gambling dollar -- pinging them as they approach, hit and exceed the self-imposed limit.
The program is a first-of-its-kind in the United States though various versions have existed in other countries, Gaming Commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll told the News Service.
The 2011 law that allowed for up to three commercial casinos and a slots parlor also provided for problem-gamblers the option to self-exclude themselves from the state's gaming establishments. Driscoll said the PlayMyWay program was not a specific requirement of the law.
"I am proud to acknowledge that Massachusetts has already established a series of unique new initiatives to promote responsible gaming, and is building a reputation nationwide as progressive innovators in responsible gaming strategies," Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said in a statement.
Developed by Scientific Games at a cost of $150,000, the PlayMyWay option is a pilot available to participants in Plainridge's Marquee Rewards Card loyalty program, and Cambridge Health Alliance has been hired to evaluate its effectiveness.
Most players are enrolled in the Marquee program and it is possible the program would be expanded further, Driscoll said. The commission noted the program is "strictly voluntary," allowing players to un-enroll or adjust their budgets and giving them the freedom to keep playing even if they exceed self-imposed budgets.
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