MGCB: “Gambling Should Be A Leisure & Entertainment Activity”

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) sheds light on responsible gaming efforts in the state.
June 01, 2022

Michigan’s state gambling regulator — the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) — has said that it believes that “gambling should be a leisure and entertainment activity” and that “protecting the interests of the citizens of the state of Michigan” will also be its top priority.

The regulator stresses the importance of players educating themselves as to what responsible gambling tools are available at each operator’s site so that they are able to know their own limits.

“Gambling should be a leisure and entertainment activity,” Mary Kay Bean, Communications Specialist at the Michigan Gaming Control Board told pokerfuse as part of a wide-ranging responsible gambling interview.

“It’s important to know your limits and use the self-limit options if you need help. If the problem becomes more serious, exclude yourself and seek professional counseling. A range of options also helps those who want to set limits but are not ready to ban themselves. These options include self-imposed gambling limits such as deposits, wagers, and time-based options which can be changed with 24 hours’ notice,” Bean went on to add.

All these tools are designed to empower players to manage their time and money spent on an online gambling site.

Popular Responsible Gambling Tools

  • Deposit Limits
  • Time Limits
  • Game Type Limits
  • Loss Limits
  • Wager Limits

Each operator has a whole host of responsible gambling tools that can be accessed via the software at any point that a player is on its site. You can get to know the most common responsible gambling tools and what they do at online poker rooms in Michigan, here.

In addition, each operator — in this case BetMGM MI, WSOP MI, and PokerStars MI — offers ways for players to take time away from the tables.

Responsible gambling tools that will ban a player from being to log into a site are:

  • Time-Outs
  • Cool-Off Periods
  • Self-Exclusion

They all amount to the same thing — bite-sized, customizable periods of time where a player can opt to be banned from logging on to that site for the duration of the time-out, cool-off, etc. Each site offers something slightly different to the other, but you can check out this handy guide to find out which operators offer what when it comes to self-exclusion in Michigan.

The state regulator also went on to reveal to pokerfuse that — as per operator information given to them — since 2021, over 10,000 Michigan citizens have self-excluded from various online and live gambling platforms.

The MGCB also revealed that since the launch of the state’s Responsible Gaming Database — a database designed to remove a citizen’s right to play at any online poker room, casino, or sportsbook in the state — and as of March 31, 2022, 161 applicants had requested placement in the RG Database.

The Responsible Gaming Database allows residents in Michigan to exclude themselves from being able to play on any online gambling site and also stretches to live casinos, too. Applying to the MGCB to be added to the database means that a player does not have to go to each site they play on individually to self-exclude — doing so via the MGCB will blanket ban them across the board for a period of time between one and five years.

When asked why it is better for a player to exclude via the state rather than via the online gambling site, the MGCB had this to say.

“Operators and platform providers are required to 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.”

The only snag with going down this route, is that the process can take up to 45 days or longer to get approved by the Executive Director of the MGCB. However, when pokerfuse challenged this wait time, and whether that is too long for a player who is struggling with gambling addiction to wait, the MGCB said:

“...The process could be shorter or longer depending on how complete the applicant’s application is and the volume of applications being processed. It’s important to ensure the MGCB has complete and correct information so self-exclusion can be implemented properly.”

If a player resides in Michigan and is struggling with addiction they can call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-270-7117. You can find more information here.

Written by