December 8, 2022 3 min read

Michigan Non-profit Launched Shocking Free Slot Play Ad

Supporters of gambling addiction recovery admitted to WBZ that they had been “shocked” when they discovered that the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health advertised free slot play.

MACGH’s Advocacy and Policy

The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) is a private non-profit organization, which was founded in 1983, and is dedicated to helping addicted gamblers struggle with their problems and overcome their addiction. It is contracted by the state of Massachusetts to support people with gambling addiction during their process of recovery. Per its website, MACGH is a “public health agency that advocates for responsible gaming and gambling practices and services for those affected by gambling.” MACGH’s website also states that the organization aims to reduce the negative impacts of gambling disorders and struggles to “make gambling healthy and safe for the people of Massachusetts.”

Toys for Free Slot Play

However, advocates for addiction recovery were stunned to find out that MACGH might have partnered with a casino for an event aiming to raise funds and even offered free slot play.

The event was a toy drive by “Toys for Tots” and was held on December 1 at the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. According to the flyer, it was organized “in coordination with” the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health. People who purchased a toy would obtain in exchange free slot play worth $10 at the same casino.

Harry Levant of Stop Predatory Gambling called this “a lure.” He commented that this offer was not designed for people to go to the casino, receive $10 of free play, and leave immediately.
Kathy Scanlan, a former director of MACGH, stated that she was shocked to see that an organization that is tasked to help people who struggle with gambling addiction would give a gambling product to someone.

Experts and advocates expressed their worries that the controversial event could be a “trigger” for gambling addicts as it was posted on the MACGH’s Facebook page, which in turn is followed by many recovering addicts.

Levant, who is currently obtaining his Ph.D. in gambling addiction research, further added that MACGH is in fact encouraging people on social media with gambling disorders to go to the casino and play instead of preventing them from doing so. Buying a toy for Christmas at this event could make addicted gamblers lose so much more, as he stated.

WBZ contacted the communications director of MACGH to ask for an explanation but has not received an answer yet.

Author

Yasmin is an iGaming and gaming journalist with over 10 years of writing about various publications. Her experience spans the entirety of iGaming, traditional sports, as well as online poker. She is well-versed in every aspect of online gaming and her wealth of knowledge provides additional substance to our coverage.

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