Slots myths have long influenced people to play beyond their means, including the myths listed here. But MGM Resorts International will soon provide a program called GameSense, which will bust these misconceptions in an effort to help problem gamblers.
The motivation behind GameSense is that MGM was ordered by Massachusetts gaming regulators to offer the program for their MGM Springfield casino, which opens next year. And as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, the company was so pleased with GameSense that they’ll offer it in all their Las Vegas casinos too.
With the help of the British Columbia Lottery Corp., MGM will implement GameSense with signage, kiosks, and a team of advisers who’ll watch for potential problem gamers on slots floors. If the players seem too distressed, the advisers will ask them to quit playing.
The hope, though, is that GameSense educates enough of these problem slots players before an issue arises.
Bo Bernhard, who heads UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, says GameSense is like a product label that offers players detailed info about slot machines.
Some of the slots myths that it will bust include ones like machines are “due to hit” because they haven’t paid in a while, or that certain games are “hot” or “cold.” GameSense will explain that players’ odds of winning are the same regardless of short-term results.
MGM will donate $1 million to UNLV over the next 5 years to compile information on problem gambling. The hope is that UNLV’s research will produce a study that leads to greater player awareness regarding odds for slots and other casino games.
One method that casinos have tried to implement to slow problem gaming involves offering reminders when people have reached their pre-programmed limit. But according to Alan Feldman, executive vice president for MGM’s global government and industry affairs, this method doesn’t work.
Research shows that rather than slowing their play after the reminder, many people increase bets to chase their losses more aggressively.
This being said, MGM officials are hoping that GameSense is a better solution for encouraging responsible gaming.