VIDEO: MassGaming releases report on Research Agenda to Legislature

legislative report

On December 3, 2013, Director of Research and Problem Gambling for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Mark Vander Linden presented Commissioners with the Report to the Massachusetts Legislature on MassGaming’s Research Agenda. The report details the work done up to this point in establishing a baseline study of problem gambling as it exists before the arrival of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The following is a message from Mark Vander Linden.

In the past year significant progress has been made to establish a pre-casino baseline of social and economic indices, rates of gambling and gambling disorders and an inventory of existing problem gambling treatment and prevention programs.   As the proposed resort-casinos and slot-parlor become operational, follow-up data will be gathered annually. The research findings will be essential in developing a strategy to minimize gambling-related harm and bring the greatest possible benefit to the people of the Commonwealth.

What are the true social and economic impacts when a jurisdiction expands the availability of gambling?

This is a difficult question to answer because even though there have been hundreds of impact studies of gambling (Williams, Rehm, & Stevens, 2011), almost all of these studies were initiated after gambling had already been introduced.  Passage of the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 in Massachusetts provided a rare opportunity to conduct a comprehensive baseline of the pre-casino levels of the social and economic indices that could be affected. Following the opening of up to three casinos and one slot parlor in the next few years, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will continue to apply a state-of-the-art analytical framework that will accurately measure  the impacts of casino gambling at state, regional, and local levels.  With the data in hand, the MGC will be poised to mobilize a strategy to minimize gambling-related harm and bring the greatest possible benefit to the people of the Commonwealth.

The report can be found here.

For more information about MassGaming’s research agenda, please visit our Research page.

To learn more about our research partners at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, please visit the webpage of SEIGMA (Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts).

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