Webinar Previews Findings and Recommendations from UMass Amherst Groundbreaking Gambling Study

DATE:           Wednesday, March 31

TIME:            10 a.m. - noon

WHAT:          MAGIC Webinar: A Preview of Findings from Five Waves
                     of the Groundbreaking Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) Study

WHERE:       Virtual event. Register here.

CONTACT:   Patty Shillington, pshillington@umass.edu, 305-606-9909

The MAGIC research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences is presenting a free webinar open to the public that coincides with Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

In the first hour of the event, Robert Williams, co-lead investigator of the MAGIC study, will discuss preliminary findings of the first major cohort study of gambling in the United States. Cohort studies survey the same individuals over time and, in this case, will provide information on how gambling and problem gambling develops and progresses, and how individuals may experience remission.

The MAGIC study collected data from the same people – some who have never gambled as well as those who gamble regularly – at five time points between 2013 and 2019, spanning the opening of Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield. The team of researchers is now working to finalize a comprehensive report from all waves of the study.

Following Williams’ presentation, a panel representing problem gambling research and prevention efforts across the Commonwealth will offer their insights. The panelists are:

  • Mark Vander Linden, director of research and responsible gaming, Massachusetts Gaming Commission;
  • Victor Ortiz, director of problem gambling services, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and
  • Marlene Warner, executive director, Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health.

Cathy Judd-Stein, chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), will make closing remarks. In 2013, the MGC selected the UMass Amherst team to conduct a comprehensive, multi-year study on the economic and social impacts of introducing casino gambling in the state, known as SEIGMA (Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts). MAGIC is a separate study but also part of MGC’s robust research agenda.