The University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences (SPHHS) has been engaged by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) since 2013 to carry out a comprehensive, multi-year research project, believed to be the first of its kind, on the economic and social impacts of introducing casino gambling in Massachusetts. The project fulfills Section 71 of the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, which requires the MGC to establish “an annual research agenda” to assist in understanding the social and economic effects of the introduction of casino gambling in MA, and in making annual scientifically-based recommendations to the Legislature. In 2019, the MGC issued a subsequent request for proposals and awarded the contract to the same team, effective January 2020.
The study focuses particularly on problem gambling, but also examines a wide array of social and economic effects of expanded gambling in Massachusetts. In addition to SPHHS, other key members of the research team include the UMass Donahue Institute, which will lead the economic and fiscal impact research, and NORC at the University of Chicago, which has led general population data collection efforts for the SEIGMA study.