Countless individuals are spending a great deal of money and time on social games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds that are widely accepted as harmless leisure activities, agents of the online gaming industry told the state Gaming Commission on Tuesday.

 

Social casino online games, which mimic slot machines and table games without enabling actual wagers, are no different, the agents said.

Luc Delany, CEO of International Social Games Association, a social pc gaming trade group, said he does rule out social casino games to be gambling at all.

People who play slots and other video games online plainly comprehend the distinction in between online social gaming, a growing trend in the casino industry, and actual casino gambling, he said.

The online casino games take their inspiration from genuine money games, he said. However, we believe people enjoy them because they don t take any real threat of losing money when they play online.

Delany spoke at a three-hour commission conference held to discuss social casino video games, which critics say are addicting and misleading. Plainridge Park Casino, a slot parlor and the state’s very first casino, provides an online fruit machine that lets gamers win credits making the leaderboard and open brand-new levels of play.

It’s quite clear there are some risks, said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. When you replicate gambling online, whether for money or not, you can establish a gambling issue or exacerbate a problem.

Whyte stated the casino industry and its regulators must go over voluntary guidelines to protect players. While it’s unclear whether online video games help casinos hire new gamers, gamblers who play online appear to wager more at brick-and-mortar casinos, he stated.

Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen P. Crosby said there is no proof that online casino games cause issue gambling. But Crosby stated the panel had a better grasp of the subject and would welcome Penn National, the owner of Plainridge Park Casino, to go over the topic at a future conference.

I wish to know exactly what Penn is doing now that we have much better understanding of the issues, Crosby said.

Agents of Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts, which are also licensed in Massachusetts to run gambling establishments in Everett and Springfield, respectively, will also be welcomed.

Members said it is an open question whether the commission has territory over social gaming however wanted to learn more about the potential risks.

The commission set up the conference after a Globe short article mentioned concerns about online slot machines among critics of problem gambling.