What You Need to Know

  • Section 71 of the Gaming Act requires the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to establish “an annual research agenda” to assist in understanding the social and economic effects of casino gambling in Massachusetts and minimizing the harmful impacts of expanded gaming
  • MGC has engaged a research team at UMass Amherst to oversee, evaluate and perform a multi-year, multi-method, multi-disciplinary, multi-phase comprehensive research project on the economic and social impacts of the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts, with particular emphasis on problem gambling.
  • This first-of-its-kind research project will create a monitoring system that will accomplish the following: Provide Massachusetts stakeholders with a baseline assessment of the status of gambling and other factors for strategic analysis and decision-making, Generate early detection signs of changes in social and economic impacts and Promote responsible gambling and mitigate problem gambling through strategic services
  • View the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s report on Research Activities, released to the Legislature on December 18, 2013, here.

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA)

Pursuant to Section 71 of the Expanded Gaming Act, the MGC announced on April 1, 2013 that the University of Massachusetts Amherst had been engaged to carry out a comprehensive, multi-year study of the social and economic impacts of introducing casino gambling in Massachusetts.  The SEIGMA project is composed of four distinct components including Social and Health Impacts, Economic and Fiscal Impacts, Problem Gambling Services Evaluation and a Data Management Center.

Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC)

MAGIC promises to be a landmark study, providing new and much needed information about incidence rates and the course of problem gambling in Massachusetts.  MAGIC will yield important and unique information leading to treatment and prevention initiatives that are tailored to the needs of the people of the Commonwealth.  Furthermore, this valuable addition to the research agenda will:

  • Establish the raw number of new problem gamblers each year (necessary for resource allocation);
  • Identify the variables of greatest etiological importance in the development of and remission from problem gambling ;
  • Determine whether proportionally more resources should be put into prevention or treatment; and
  • Provide guidance on ‘safe levels’ of gambling involvement.

MAGIC will be complimentary and synergistic with the SEIGMA study, with each project providing considerable information relevant to the other study’s goals.  An additional “value added” element of the MAGIC project will be scrutiny of the findings from four other longitudinal cohort studies that are presently in the final stages of analysis, to identify variables that would merit more detailed examination in the MAGIC project.  Because of direct involvement in all four of these studies by Volberg or Williams, the MAGIC team has unique access to this data.

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