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MGCB: Responsible gaming tools help keep March Madness wagering fun

1 Mar 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- You may believe your wagers are a slam dunk, but you can’t count on making a winning play every time you place a bet. It’s smart to keep control of your bankroll by planning your moves to limit wagering during March Madness or any other time of the year, advises the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

“You may be caught up in the excitement of the gaming or sporting event but don’t forget to bet responsibly,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director. “Gambling should be for entertainment, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of meeting your personal or family needs and obligations."

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. For 20 years, the National Council on Problem Gambling has led efforts every March to heighten public awareness of problem gambling and the tools available to prevent, treat and recover from this sometimes-hidden addiction. The MGCB supports NCPG’s efforts to promote responsible gaming and improve awareness, Williams said.

Follow these tips to have fun safely:

- Set budget and time limits: Set a timer on your watch or phone if you’re visiting a casino or use the tools authorized operators and providers offer patrons on their internet gaming or sports betting sites to establish account funding, wagering and time limits.
- Frequency: Gamble no more than four days per month or once per week.
- Limit types: Don’t play more than two types of games regularly.
- Know how the games work: Before placing a bet, make sure you understand the game.
- Take breaks: Step away and think about the time and money you’ve spent.
- Keep wagering affordable: The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Abuse suggests gambling no more than 1% of household income monthly. If you borrow money or use funds intended for necessities, you may lose more than you can afford.
- Stay self-aware: Avoid gambling if you are upset, stressed or in an addiction recovery program, and limit your intake of alcohol or cannabis.
- Stick to your budget: Don’t chase losses or think of gambling as a way to make money. If you’re out of money, it’s time to quit.
- Don’t count on luck: Good luck strategies don’t increase your odds of winning.
- Keep it fun: If it isn’t fun, stop wagering.

Sign up for a self-exclusion program if you are experiencing a gambling problem. The MGCB offers two self-exclusion options:

- The Responsible Gaming Database: Choose complete exclusion for one or five years from all Michigan-authorized internet gaming providers, internet sports betting providers or both. Operators and providers may choose to apply self-exclusion broadly, which may prohibit gambling in other states, too.
- The Disassociated Persons List: Voluntary signup prohibits visiting the three Detroit casinos for a minimum of five years.

Operators and providers offer their own internet self-exclusion programs on their websites under the responsible gaming or help sections.

If you believe you may have a gambling problem, please call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117. More information on problem gambling resources is available on the MDHHS website.
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