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SEIGMA News

SEIGMA team meets with Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners at annual meeting

Researchers on the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study recently held their annual meeting on campus. Team members including faculty and staff from the University of Massachusetts and experts from across North America came together to review progress of the study, believed to be the first of its kind to study social and economic impacts of gambling both before and after legalized gambling. On April 15 the research team met with representatives from several state agencies and organizations, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Commissioners Stephen Crosby and Enrique Zuniga from the MGC met with press during a break in discussion. Peruse the coverage in the links below:

Boston Herald quotes Volberg in article

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg was interviewed for a Boston Herald story on a visit by members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to the SEIGMA Annual meeting. "This is an attempt to take a snapshot of what gambling behavior looks like in Massachusetts before casinos," says Volberg in the article. Read more here.

Volberg advises on Casino Health Impact Assessment report

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg was recently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Western Massachusetts Casino Health Impact Assessment, created by Springfield nonprofit Partners for a Healthier Community. Volberg provided input and feedback on the report, which assesses possible health impacts of a casino in the region and includes suggestions to ease negative results and improve positive ones. Read the report here.

SEIGMA team member Salame featured in CBS3 news report

Laurie Salame, an expert advisor for the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team, was recently featured in a CBS3 news report about the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management's annual Hospitality and Tourism Management career fair. Salame, who teaches in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, spoke with the local news affiliate about casino job opportunities for students. Watch the report here.

SEIGMA team members to appear on radio show

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team members Rachel Volberg and Laurie Salame will participate in a radio program discussing gambling and hosted by Boston NPR station WBUR. The program, "WBUR on Tap," takes place Feb. 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. Read more here.

Volberg featured on MA Council on Compulsive Gambling blog

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg recently contributed a guest blog to the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. In it, Volberg previews some of her upcoming presentation at the Massachusetts Conference on Gambling Problems, taking place Thursday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. Read more here.

SEIGMA profiled by UMass Amherst website

Researchers on the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team recently spoke with UMass Amherst website ResearchNext about their work.

“I think we really have an opportunity to watch these issues as they unfold over time, as well as an opportunity to intervene in ways that aren’t possible unless you actually have the empirical evidence,” says co-investigator Rachel Volberg. Read more here.

Volberg discusses gambling research on Amherst Media television program

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg recently appeared on an episode of Amherst Media television program Difficult Dialogues. The show, hosted by Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella, focused on Volberg's research on problem gambling and casino development in Massachusetts. Watch the program here.

MGC Research Agenda submitted to state legislature

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), in collaboration with the SEIGMA team, recently submitted a report to the Massachusetts Legislature detailing progress on the MGC's research agenda. The document details the research activities of the MGC, including much of the SEIGMA team's progress. Read the Executive Summary here or the full report here.

Volberg testifies before U.S. House committee

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg recently testified before a hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee in the U.S. House. The hearing examined potential impacts of H.R. 2666, a bill that would establish federal oversight of state and tribal licensing programs for internet poker in the U.S. The subcommittee has oversight of interstate and foreign trade, including regulation of commercial practices, sports-related matters, consumer affairs and consumer protection, data security and product liability.

Volberg’s testimony covered several topics, including: whether problem gambling would increase as a result of increased online gambling; populations that are most vulnerable to problem gambling; the significance of funding problem gambling research, treatment and prevention; and the need to balance potential economic benefits of gambling with consumer protections.

“While establishing minimum consumer protections at the federal level will be helpful, these measures will not be adequate without a mechanism to adequately fund prevention, treatment and, most importantly, research on problem gambling in the United States,” said Volberg.

Read Volberg’s full testimony here.

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