Sports bettors in Massachusetts are enrolling in voluntary self-exclusion at a younger age than casino gamblers, new state data shows.
According to data presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday by MGC Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) Program Manager Long Banh, 80 percent of individuals on the state’s VSE list for sports betting between January and May of this year were between the ages of 25 and 44. The same age group made up 63 percent of VSE enrollments for both casino gambling and sports betting over that period.
Only 46 percent of the state’s VSE list for casino gambling was comprised of the 25-44 age group for the same period.
“It’s a younger demographic (for sports betting-only VSE),” Banh told the MGC. “… it’s 25 to 44 (year olds) instead of 25 to 64 for the other two categories.”
Enrollments for sports betting VSE in Massachusetts since January total 102, according to Banh. Those include 92 enrollments for casino gambling and sports betting combined versus 10 enrollments for sports betting only.
White Males Make Up Most Sports Betting VSE Enrollees in Mass
A breakdown of Massachusetts sports betting and casino gambling VSE demographics by gender and racial makeup was also reported by Banh. Based on that data, 100 percent of the ten persons enrolled in VSE for sports betting only between January and May 2023 were white. Of those ten, 90 percent were male.
Sixty-seven percent of those on the VSE list for both casino gambling and sports wagering in the same period were white. By gender, 83 percent of those enrollees were male, and 17 percent were female.
Banh said the data confirms what recent research suggests: There appear to be more young white men engaged in sports betting than other groups. Data released in February by research firm Ipsos indicate that sports bettors are likely to be wealthy, younger white males.
“And here we have a good sense of what ‘younger’ in Massachusetts means,” Banh told the commission.
MGC Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said she appreciates the new state-specific data which “backs up some of the projected gender and age breakdowns that we’ve been getting heading into sports wagering.”
“I’m not surprised, but I’m glad that we actually have some hard data on the ground backing up what (we were told) we’re probably going to see,” she said.
Self-Exclusion is an Industry Standard
Voluntary self-exclusion is a standard component of responsible gaming (RG) programs in states with legal sports betting and casino gambling across the US. The Massachusetts VSE Program is mandated under the state’s 2011 Expanded Gaming Act as a way to mitigate problem gambling, Banh said Thursday.
Sports and casino gamblers can voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling for one year, three years, five years, or for a lifetime under the Massachusetts program.
Once enrolled, individuals are prohibited from “entering the sports wagering area of a retail sports wagering operator, and from placing a sports wager with any Massachusetts licensed wagering operator, including retail and sports wagering platforms,” according to the MGC. Dual self-exclusion from sports betting and casino gambling prohibits individuals from entering the gaming floor of casinos and sports wagering areas, with the added prohibition for mobile sports betting.
Enrollment in the Massachusetts VSE program can be completed by calling the MGC Safer Gaming Education Line at 1-800-426-1234, chatting with an advisor on the GameSense website, or scheduling an in-person appointment with the Massachusetts VSE Program by emailing [email protected]. There is a remote option for in-person enrollment as well.
In-person enrollment is also possible without an appointment by visiting the GameSense center at any of Massachusetts’ three casinos during casino operating hours.
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