Gambling in Michigan is much more prominent than ever before. The state is home to 23 tribal casinos, with Detroit having three commercial casinos. The state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed legislation that legalized the further expansion of gambling in December 2019, making internet casinos, online poker, sports betting, and fantasy sports competitions legal in the Great Lakes State.
These new gambling forms are expected to pop up in Michigan sometime this year. Although gambling can be a source of amusement and fun, the State of Michigan is well aware of compulsive and problem gambling and hope to address it seriously.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) regularly lists all the problem gambling spots on its website. Michigan Law also allows the MGCB and Detroit’s commercial casinos to maintain a list of “Disassociated Persons.” It will enable gamblers to stay away from casinos in Detroit of their own accord. Additionally, Michigan gamblers can call 1-888-223-3044 or fill out an online form to permanently ban themselves from Detroit casinos.
However, in October 2022, a new law was passed, allowing the banned gamblers to be removed from the list mentioned above after five years. Since its inception, about 5000 people have been included on the list.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) operates a 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117 for problem gamblers. It also ensures that the certified experts employed by MDHHS arrange for initial counseling sessions, offer details on financial aid, and, if required, manage ongoing care.
Additionally, the state pledges US$ 500,000 annually to problem gambling programs, funded using the tax revenue from online gambling.
Further, in the article, we will try to understand problem gambling and responsible gambling better and point out the resources available for people battling this behavior.
Understanding Responsible Gambling
The idea of responsible gambling is to understand that it is a means of fun and entertainment, which, like any other activity, should be done within a reasonable spending limit.
Winnings must be viewed as a nice bonus, whereas losses should never exceed a person’s affordable budget. A problem gambler fails to adhere to the abovementioned principles, often leading to losing money, strained relationships, employment issues, and health problems.
To better uphold the principles of responsible gambling, the Michigan casinos and online gambling operators must:
- Safeguard vulnerable gamblers
- Combat underage gambling
- Ensure fair play
- Use moral and ethical marketing strategies
- Deliver a credible, safe, and secure gambling environment
- Enform the gamblers about the risks of gambling and responsible gambling
Rules for Responsible Gambling
The MDHHS provides the following guidelines for responsible gambling:
- Primarily gambling is for entertainment and not for making money.
- It should not be one’s only means of enjoyment.
- Have friends with you while you gamble. Rely on the ones who can prevent you from going overboard.
- Playing gamble with everyday expenses money is a strict no.
- Never bet with personal belongings.
- You should set a gambling limit for money and time, as you can lose track of both quickly.
- If you need to borrow gambling money, then gambling is not for you in the first place.
- Taking short breaks while gambling is a great idea.
- Gambling should not be done to relieve stress or depression as there are other options.
- You should drink moderately while gambling, as excessive alcohol may affect your judgment.
Understanding Problem Gambling
Problem gambling comprises various behaviors, including obsessive gambling that interferes with personal and professional life and placing reckless and dangerous bets.
One of the first tell-tale signs exhibited by someone with a gambling problem is their addictive behavior towards gambling.
Problem Gambling can be difficult to diagnose, but the following questions can help us identify a person exhibiting early signs of problem gambling.
- Do they seem to be obsessed with gambling?
- Do they gamble in secret and react negatively when asked about it?
- Do they raise the bet limits irresponsibly?
- Are they making futile attempts to quit gambling?
- Has gambling become their escape?
- Are they agitated when they are not gambling?
- Have they ever broken the law to gamble?
- Are they willing to risk their relationships, education, or career in favor of gambling?
Responsible and Problem Gambling Resources in Michigan
The MGCB and MDHHS are for anyone looking out for responsible gambling practices or seeking help for problem gambling in Michigan.
People can also consult the following organizations for their gambling-related issues in Michigan.
- Michigan Association on Problem Gambling runs a 24-7 toll-free number for Michigan residents dealing with problem gambling.
- Health Management Systems of America gambling treatment program is a state-wide treatment program for gambling addicts and their families.
- Gamblers Anonymous provides nationwide support groups to educate people on problem gambling.
- NFCC.org is a non-profit organization set up by the National Foundation for Credit Counselling.
- Michigan’s Disassociated Persons List is a list maintained by the MGCB where gamblers can have themselves barred from entering casinos.
- Gam-Anon is an organization to help family members of problem gamblers.
National Resources for Responsible Gambling
- National Council on Problem Gambling is one of the most prominent national-level organizations which exclusively deals with programs and services that support problem gamblers and their families. Their national helpline is 1-800-522-4700.
- National Centre for Responsible Gaming mainly deals with funding research and raising awareness about problem gambling. The NCRG website is an excellent source for anyone interested in learning about responsible gambling.
MGCB’s Disassociated Persons Program
The MGCB keeps a “Disassociated Persons” list, which bars gamblers from entering any casino in the Detroit area. It is essential to point out that this must be done voluntarily by the gamblers themselves; also, according to a law passed in October 2020, people can get their names taken off this list after five years.
Remember Responsible Gambling
Gambling should be enjoyable and entertaining; responsible gambling practices are the only way to achieve this. You must keep a stalk of your behavior when gambling offline or online.
Gamblers should have fun but also ensure that this hobby doesn’t become an addiction. Also, one should not be afraid to seek help if one struggles with problem gambling.