CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — March is Problem Gambling Awareness month and the first month in Massachusetts to feature legal sports gambling it also happens to be the beginning of the start of March Madness, one of the best sports weekends of the year. But, the wall-to-wall action and novelty of betting here in Massachusetts is a perfect recipe for problem gambling.

“It’s amazing. We used to have to go all the way to Vegas and now we can do it right here,” expressed Tom.

“It’s nice to not have to maybe make a phone call to somebody in order to do this right. It’s all out there, it’s easy,” added Bob.

Whether you’re a sports-betting vet or a promotion-motivated newbie, opening weekend of the NCAA tournament is the cream of the crop of gambling stretches. The constant action and hundreds of thousands of new players in Massachusetts is creating some concern over potential bad habits. But just a few good gambling practices can make all the difference.

“Play with what you can afford, have fun, enjoy the games and your favorite teams, just stay within budget. Don’t chase your losses and there’s always going to be another game,” said Amy from GameSense.

GameSense is MGM’s go-to for problem gambling support and prides themselves on accessibility. You can access their resources online, by phone, or in person right here at MGM Springfield. GameSense can connect you to direct counseling with gambling disorder specialists, peer support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, or Game-anon which is meant for friends and family. They also offer financial services, connections to rehab facilities, and the self-exclusion program.

“We can be a one stop shop, and we are fun too. I think the biggest thing about GameSense is we are not anti-gambling. We are gambling neutral. We are not here to tell grown adults what to do,” Amy added.

All of those resources can be accessed online, by phone, or in person. You don’t have to have a gambling problem to connect with them and just because you open a dialogue does not mean you’ll end up in rehab that you don’t think you need.

Gamesense are big believers that this can be a fun outlet, as long as you play responsibly.