Michigan Regulator Hosts New Responsible Gaming Podcast

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) launched a podcast called “Double Down Michigan” in late March. To date, the podcast has had five episodes.
Michigan Regulator Hosts New Responsible Gaming Podcast
June 22, 2023

If you enjoy gaming or are curious about how the industry works, our podcasts will provide insights from a regulator’s unique perspective. Regulators of Michigan online casinos, Michigan online poker, & Michigan sportsbooks have been running a podcast focused on responsible gaming and other issues for the last four months.

The podcast, Double Down Michigan, launched in late March and is hosted by Henry Williams, Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). Topics include gaming legislation, current gaming trends, and gaming industry news in Michigan.

Double Down began less than a month after MGCB launched its “Don’t Regret the Bet” campaign, which includes advertising on television and radio, point-of-sale video ads at gas stations, and digital billboards.

Since its launch, Double Down has had five episodes — the most recent was posted on May 24. Most episodes are in the 20- to 30-minute range, but one is only 12 minutes long, while another is nearly an hour.

“Through our podcast, Michigan citizens will learn more about the gaming industry and its impacts on the state and its patrons,” Williams said in an early April statement shortly after the series launched.

“If you enjoy gaming or are curious about how the industry works, our podcasts will provide insights from a regulator’s unique perspective. We also will help our listeners by sharing information on responsible gaming and problem gambling.”

The series debuted on March 24. For the premiere episode, Williams interviewed Sandra Johnson, the Responsible Gaming Manager for the MGCB. According to notes provided by the regulator, Johnson, and Williams discussed “the difference between responsible gaming and problem gambling, MGCB’s new responsible gaming campaign, and tips for staying safe and having fun while you gamble.”

Williams interviewed Michael Burke, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Problem Gambling (MAPG) and a National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) board member, for the series’ second installment on March 27, appropriately titled “Never Enough.”

Burke shared his personal experiences and touched on some myths surrounding gambling addictions and how listeners “can support a loved one who might be living with a gambling problem.”

The series took a lighter turn in its third episode, which aired on April 28. Williams used the podcast to interview John Carlo, co-owner of Northville Downs, the oldest and only remaining nighttime harness track in Michigan.

On the same day, the fourth and penultimate episode of the podcast, “An Insider’s Perspective on Horse Racing,” featured an interview with MGCB’s Horse Racing Section Manager, Heather Gaunt.

Double Down returned to talking about responsible gaming issues for the fifth, and so far the last, episode of the podcast. Williams interviewed Alia Lucas, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Gambling Disorder Program Manager.

The episode, titled “Breaking the Stigma,” focused on “the increase in requests for help from those with gambling problems, the importance of treating problem gambling as a public health crisis, and the need for prevention efforts to educate young people about responsible gaming,” according to MGCB.

When asked if she had a takeaway message for listeners of the last podcast, Lucas told Williams, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help for gambling. Don’t be embarrassed about needing help for gambling. That’s my biggest takeaway.”

According to the MGCB, Double Down Michigan is available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Castro, Overcast, Podcast Index, and Spotify.

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