The University of Massachusetts Amherst


UMass researchers provide update of Plainridge Park Casino’s social and economic impacts on the Commonwealth

Researchers from UMass Amherst and the UMass Donahue Institute, as part of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team, released three reports detailing findings of the social and economic impacts of the state’s only slot parlor, Plainridge Park Casino (PPC), to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) at an open meeting in Plainville, Massachusetts. 

UMass Amherst researchers release findings on the economic impacts of MGM Springfield construction

Researchers from the UMass Donahue Institute, as part of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research study at UMass Amherst, have released findings on the economic impacts of constructing MGM Springfield. Specifically, these findings detail: 1) where the construction dollars were spent (regionally and statewide), 2) where the construction workers resided and whether it was a diverse workforce, and 3) what were the total statewide economic impacts of constructing MGM Springfield. The findings were released today after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission open meeting in Springfield.

UMass Amherst researchers assess the early impacts of MGM Springfield on real estate conditions in Springfield

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at UMass Amherst examined the initial impacts of announcing the MGM Springfield casino license in February 2014 and its subsequent construction on housing and real estate conditions in Springfield, Massachusetts and its surrounding communities. This report was recently released at an open public meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. These findings follow the baseline report that examined housing and real estate conditions in Springfield prior to the announcement of the MGM Springfield license.

UMass Amherst research team (SEIGMA) releases findings on the First-Ever Major Cohort Study of Gambling in the U.S.

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at UMass Amherst has released a report on the first major adult cohort study of gambling conducted in the United States—the Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC). By surveying the same individuals over time, cohort studies provide information on how gambling and problem gambling develops, progresses, and remits. The goals of the MAGIC study are to 1) uncover and understand populations in Massachusetts who are at a higher risk of experiencing gambling harm and problem gambling and 2) inform the development of effective and efficient prevention and treatment programming in the Commonwealth.

Research professor Dr. Rachel Volberg in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst and Principal Investigator of the MAGIC study comments on the importance of the cohort study to assess gambling behaviors in Massachusetts:

“Although this report focuses on results from before the opening of MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, we have already learned a great deal about how gambling problems among Massachusetts adults develop, progress, and remit—information that will assist the Gaming Commission and the Department of Public Health in crafting the right mix of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services to effectively minimize and mitigate gambling harm in the Commonwealth.”

SEIGMA Team Releases Most Comprehensive Report on Impacts of Casinos Ever Undertaken and One-Page “Fact Sheets”

The SEIGMA team has officially released the Social and Economic Impacts of Expanded Gambling in Massachusetts: 2018 report--constituting the most in-depth and comprehensive investigation of the impacts of introducing casino gambling ever undertaken--and 10 Fact Sheets, which are one-page briefings that summarize findings of the social and economic impacts of expanded gambling in the Commonwealth. 

SEIGMA’s Real Estate Report finds Plainridge Park Casino has Minimal Impacts on Real Estate in Plainville and Surrounding Communities

SEIGMA’s Real Estate Impacts of the Plainridge Park Casino on Plainville and Surrounding Communities report examines the initial impacts of the Plainridge Park Casino on the residential, commercial, and industrial real estate markets in Plainville and its surrounding communities. This report follows the Baseline Real Estate Conditions, Host Community Profile: Plainville report that documented real estate trends prior to the opening of Plainridge Park Casino.


SEIGMA research featured in BMC Public Health: Gambling behavior strongly related to social network's level of gambling

Alissa Mazar, SEIGMA's project manager, summarizes the SEIGMA team’s most recent contribution to the field of public health in the journal BMC Public Health“The importance of friends and family to recreational gambling, at-risk gambling, and problem gambling.” 

Gallup and SEIGMA both find a strong majority agree that gambling is morally acceptable

Based on Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs Social Series, "69 percent of Americans say gambling is morally acceptable [in 2018], a four percentage-point increase from last year and the highest level of acceptance in the 16 years Gallup has asked the question." Compared to the nation, the SEIGMA team, using the Baseline General Population Survey of Massachusetts, found that 82.4 percent of the Massachusetts adult population did not believe gambling was morally wrong and only 17.3 percent considered gambling immoral in 2013-2014. Indeed, compared to the nation, more Massachusetts residents feel that gambling is morally acceptable.

SEIGMA-UMass Donahue Institute analyze the impacts of casino expansion on the MA Lottery

Mark Nichols, PhD—professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Reno—has twenty years of experience analyzing the social and economic impacts of casinos. Working with the SEIGMA economics team at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, Dr. Nichols has completed an analysis of the effects of Plainridge Park Casino on the Massachusetts Lottery, titled “Lottery Revenue and Plainridge Park Casino: Analysis After Two Years of Casino Operation.”

Statewide and nationally, there is concern that the introduction of casinos will impact lottery sales. In Massachusetts, we are in the fortunate and unique position of having detailed sales data from the Massachusetts Lottery. This allows us to assess the impact of casino gambling on lottery sales over time and at different levels of resolution (i.e., in host and surrounding communities, different driving distances, different regions, patron origination cities, and statewide).

Following the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in June 2015, the present analysis shows there is no significant negative impact on lottery sales that can be attributed to the casino. In the first year of operation, sales closer to the casino grew more slowly.  While these sales declined in the second year of casino operation, they remain unchanged when including sales in Plainville and Plainridge Park Casino together. We will continue to monitor lottery sales to determine if the first two years of results reflect longer term trends and whether the much larger casinos planned for Everett and Springfield will have similar or different impacts on lottery sales in the Commonwealth.