Gaming director talks industry challenges

Brianna Robbins & Kait Quinn – 1851 Staff and Managing Editor

Jill Griffin, Director of Workforce, Supplier, and Diversity Development at the
Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), spoke to Lasell Students the MGC. The mission of the MGC is to create fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in 2011.

After an introduction from Joan Dolamore, Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, Griffin spoke about the duties of MGC and her role there. Griffin has been at her position for nine months and focuses on economic development. But due to the fast-paced environment, her time has felt “like three years,” she said.

Brief overviews of the MGC’s mission statement, core values, and principles led the discussion to the lengthy legislative process involved. People wonder “why it takes so long,” says Griffin, but the MGC follows these outlining standards closely.

A “massive application… [of] 236 questions” stand between the gaming company and the final product of a resort casino, says Griffin. The process involves the public within the host city or town and surrounding communities, adding to the lengthy process, as well as answering the question, “Where the funds go to stand to
benefit the commonwealth,” said Griffin.

Massachusetts must also research the effects associated with problem gambling before making a decision. “[We] want to mitigate the gambling issues,” says Griffin. Massachusetts is completing a research study to better understand how to help problem gamblers. The study is the first in the nation to create a baseline of where there are problems in the gaming industry in relation to addicted gamers.

“It was great to hear from someone from the MGC, to hear about the plans and process. It really connected to my major [Resort and Casino Management] and an awesome opportunity provided,” said sophomore Katie Rathbun.

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