The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SEIGMA News

SEIGMA Public Research Day Webinar - October 14, 2020

Every year, the SEIGMA research team hosts a Public Research Day to provide community groups and stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the SEIGMA research projects. This year, we will be holding a virtual event via Zoom on October 14, 2020

Please find Save The Date announcement for this year’s Public Research Day Webinar entitled Springfield’s Two Years as a Casino Host Community: Looking Back and Looking Forward below. The webinar will include presentations on research activities the SEIGMA project has undertaken in Springfield and surrounding communities and provide an opportunity to discuss the initial impacts of the opening of the MGM Springfield casino. 

Please contact Valerie Evans (vevans@umass.edu) with any questions you may have at this time.

We look forward to an engaging and productive Public Research Day Webinar. We hope you can join us!

Prof. Rachel Volberg's co-authored The Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions

The Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling moves beyond a symptoms-based view of harm and addresses a broad set of factors related to the risks and effects of gambling harmfully at the individual, family, and community levels. Coauthored by international research experts and informed by multiple stakeholders, Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) facilitated the framework development in 2013 and retains responsibility for regular updates and mobilization. This review article presents information about the revised version of the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling completed in late 2018. We address the relevance of the CFHG to the gambling and behavioral addictions research community. Harm-based frameworks have been undertaken in other areas of addiction that can both inform and be informed by a model dedicated to harmful gambling. Further, the framework brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to bear on antecedents and factors that co-occur with harmful gambling.

Publication link here.

SEIGMA team presents webinar for MGC and MCCG staff

April 24, 2020 -- Members of the SEIGMA team, Dr. Rachel Volberg and Laurie Salame, presented a webinar to the MGC and MCCG (Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling) staff on the history of the SEIGMA project, ongoing project activities, and future directions. 

MGC Research and the SEIGMA Project

Two years before the first casino opened its doors in Massachusetts, researchers were already peering in. It was important (and mandated by statute) to get an understanding of the gambling landscape in the Commonwealth prior to the introduction of casino gambling. Thus, in April 2013 the MGC engaged the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its partners to carry out a unique, comprehensive, multi-year research project on the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA). This training introduces participants to SEIGMA, highlights some of the past key findings, explores the current research priorities, and offers a glimpse of future research opportunities.

You can sign in to view the webinar here

No evidence MGM Springfield casino has hurt state lottery revenues

April 10, 2020 -- A research team from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has found there is no evidence yet that the MGM Springfield casino has reduced state lottery revenues. The analysis and report, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences, was presented during a gaming commission meeting Thursday. The lead presenter was Mark W. Nichols, a professor of economics with the University of Nevada, Reno, a member of the reserach team. Read the entire MassLive story here.

Volberg Quoted in Chicago Sun Times Article on Gambling Addiction

March 27, 2020 --  UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences reported on a Chicago Sun Times article criticizing the state of Illinois for doing little to address gambling addiction after video gambling was made legal there in 2012. Rachel Volberg, Research Professor of Epidemiology and principal investigator of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study is quoted as saying the relationship between gambling addiction and other mental health issues is “a two-way street” and the large number of video gambling machines in the state makes it hard to know where to start addressing the problem of gambling addiction. See the SPHHS story here.

Nangle Arrest Highlights A Common Problem In Massachusetts — Compulsive Gambling

February 23, 2020 -- Prof. Rachel Volberg was interviewed by WGBH as part of a story inspired by the State Rep. David Nangle's arrest and problem gambling in the state. Listen here

Massachusetts Continues to Study Problem Gambling, Other Effects from New Casinos

February 13, 2020 - University of Massachusetts Professor Rachel Volberg is leading a team of researchers studying the impact of casinos on the Bay State. Read the Casino.org story here

UMass Amherst Receives Multiyear Contract To Research Casino Impacts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded $1 million per year over the next three years for an ongoing investigation into the impact of bringing casino gambling to the state. The funding will go to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences. This will continue to be an unprecedented study into the social and economic impacts of casino gambling in Massachusettts. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with lead investigator Rachel Volberg. Listen to the interview here.

UMass Amherst Receives Multiyear Contract To Research Casino Impacts

February 11, 2020 - The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded $1 million per year over the next three years for an ongoing investigation into the impact of bringing casino gambling to the state. The funding will go to the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences. This will continue an unprecedented study into the social and economic impacts of casino gambling in Massachusetts. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with lead investigator Rachel Volberg. Listen here.

The Sportscaster and Her Son Podcast: "Sports Gambling is legal, talk to your kids" with Rachel Volberg - Episode 016

Professor Rachel Volberg was invited to participate in a The Sportscaster and Her Son podcast to discuss sports betting. Listen here.

Pages