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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Launches Online Gaming Research Hub and Data Sharing Platform

The Newly Created Massachusetts Open Data Exchange (MODE) Offers Researchers Enhanced Access to Casino-Impact Related DataSets

Today, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is excited to announce the launch of a robust online research library and data sharing portal, which will improve transparency and access to MGC’s extensive and growing collection of gaming-related datasets. The MGC’s burgeoning research agenda is recognized as the nation’s most comprehensive research program to study, assess, and prepare for the social and economic impacts of casino gambling.  The new web-based information platform, located at MassGaming.com, offers a categorized and centralized repository of the research program’s wide-ranging studies and data.

In fulfillment of a legislative mandate, the MGC launched a robust, multi-year, first-of-its-kind research initiative in 2013. Research goals include:

  • Understand the effects of casino gambling;
  • Obtain scientific information regarding the psychology, sociology, epidemiology, and etiology of gambling;
  • Inform strategies, practices and policies for responsible gambling and problem gambling prevention and treatment;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of MGC’s responsible gaming programming; and
  • Translate and mobilize research findings to inform decision-making.

This initiative also introduces the MGC’s newly established Massachusetts Open Data Exchange (MODE), a program designed to build upon existing research and to foster broad access to data for people with differing skills. MODE invites researchers of all disciplines to use available gaming-related data to advance the empirical evidence and knowledge base about the social and economic effects of casinos on individuals and communities. The MODE section of the website features a convenient and easy-to-use online application to facilitate researcher access, data sharing and analysis.

“Since its inception, the MGC has prioritized transparency and the importance of data-driven decision making. This latest initiative represents another milestone in our efforts to implement programs that support our organizational values and maximize government services,” said MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein. “MassGaming.com has long been an important resource for our constituents. We are pleased to continuously enhance our website’s utility, now providing better access to MGC grant-funded research in furtherance of innovation and discovery.”

The website currently features more than 40 research reports and numerous associated documents categorized by areas of interest to facilitate easy navigation and search function. Research categories include Economic Impact, Social Impact, Public Safety, Responsible Gaming Program Evaluations, Community-Engaged Research, and the longitudinal Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) study. Also, drop-down menus and advanced search options are available to provide a streamlined and efficient user experience.

Mark Vander Linden, MGC director of research and responsible gaming, said, “The goal of the MGC research agenda is to connect constituents and policymakers with relevant and timely research so they can make an informed decision in the development and implementation of gambling policies and practices.  The enhancements to the research section are a significant step in this direction.”

Tom Land, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, commented, “MODE has great promise in amplifying the value of the MGC research agenda.  By allowing access to the data, researchers with potentially different perspectives will be able to provide new insights into the impacts of gambling in Massachusetts.”

MGC strives to set the industry standard for maximizing the use of available technology to enhance its overall efficiency and to serve constituents better. MGC continually aims to improve outreach and communications while also welcoming the public’s feedback. MGC urges the public to browse the new research section and email feedback to MGCcomments@state.ma.us.

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