University of Massachusetts Amherst

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SEIGMA releases findings on the first major cohort study of gambling in the US: The Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) study

Alissa Mazar, SEIGMA’s project manager, explains the recently released “Analysis of MAGIC Wave 2: Incidence and Transitions,” which provides insights into changes in gambling participation and problem gambling incidence prior to the opening of casinos in the Commonwealth.

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team has released a report on the first major adult cohort study of gambling conducted in the United States. By surveying the same individuals over time, cohort studies provide information on how gambling and problem gambling develops, progresses, and remits. This has significant value as it can highlight risk and protective factors important in developing effective prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services. 

What are the economic impacts of casinos in MA? The Patron and License Plate Survey Report offers insight

 Alissa Mazar, SEIGMA's project manager, details SEIGMA’s recently released “Patron and License Plate Survey Report: Plainridge Park Casino 2016,” which is a key component to understanding the social and economic impacts of casinos in the Commonwealth.

In 2016, the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team conducted a patron survey at Massachusetts’ first casino, Plainridge Park Casino (PPC). Laurie Salame, senior lecturer at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management and an expert advisor to the study, led the survey and is the report’s lead author. Concerning patron surveys, this effort is first-of-its-kind due to its rigorous method to attain a sample of PPC patronage as representative as possible while using sophisticated weighting techniques to account for response bias.


Economic Impact Report of Plainridge Park Casino's First Year of Operation

Thomas Peake, Research Analyst at the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI), and a researcher on the economic and fiscal analysis team, has spent the last three years developing models to assess the economic impacts of expanded gaming in Massachusetts. In this post, Peake details results from his analysis of the impacts from Plainridge Park Casino’s (PPC) first year of operation.

Gambling intensity and formats matter most, Volberg and co-authors find

Alissa Mazar, SEIGMA's project manager, summarizes Volberg and co-authors' most recent contribution to the gambling literature, “Forms of gambling, gambling involvement, and problem gambling: Evidence from a Swedish population survey.” 

Dr. Rachel Volberg, the Principal Investigator of the SEIGMA study, has recently published “Forms of gambling, gambling involvement, and problem gambling: Evidence from a Swedish population survey” in International Gambling Studies. Working in collaboration with colleagues from Sweden, Volberg’s article makes a distinct contribution to the gambling literature by teasing out how participating in specific forms of gambling, the number of gambling formats, and intensity (i.e., time and money spent) relate to problem gambling.

SEIGMA-MAGIC Annual Meeting

Alissa Mazar, the Project Manager of SEIGMA-MAGIC, shares her first experience at the 2017 SEIGMA-MAGIC Annual Meeting.
I could use many words to describe my first experience at the SEIGMA-MAGIC Annual Meeting. A few come to mind: thought provoking, motivating, engaging, and cutting-edge. Personally, however, the most accurate word to capture my experience is ‘humbling.’ As the new project manager on this first of its kind study on the social and economic impacts of expanded gambling, I came to see, first-hand, what the minds of the SEIGMA-MAGIC team do.

Working at Plainridge Park Casino: Examining the First Two Years of Operation

University of Massachusetts Amherst Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in MA (SEIGMA)Andrew Hall, M.P.A., M.A., is a research analyst at the UMass Donahue Institute where he serves as a member of the economic and fiscal analysis team for the SEIGMA project.

The UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research team, a part of the larger SEIGMA team, strives to understand the impacts of the introduction of casinos on the people and economy of the Commonwealth. One point of interest in our work on the study is understanding the jobs at the casinos in Massachusetts, and the characteristics of employees when they are first hired to work there. We designed a survey to obtain this information and gather a range of data on work-related characteristics and aspirations of new employees. 

Gambling and Problem Gambling in Massachusetts: In-Depth Analysis of Predictors

Rachel Volberg, Principal Investigator on the SEIGMA project, discusses the results of deeper analyses of data from the Baseline General Population Survey (BGPS), a survey of 9,578 Massachusetts residents that was carried out in 2013/2014.  

Our BGPS provided a description of the characteristics of non-gamblers, recreational gamblers, at-risk gamblers, and problem gamblers prior to the opening of any casinos in the Commonwealth. Today we are publishing a new report which uses data collected from our baseline survey, but focused on identifying factors that are gambling and problem gambling predictors in Massachusetts.

Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts: Results of a Baseline Online Panel Survey

Robert Williams, co-Principal Investigator on the SEIGMA project, is a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and also a Research Coordinator for the Alberta Gambling Research Institute. He and his colleagues on the SEIGMA Social and Health Impacts Team have just produced a report derived from a Baseline Online Panel Survey (BOPS) of 5,046 Massachusetts residents during 2013-2014.

The purpose of the Baseline Online Panel Survey (BOPS) is to study problem gamblers in the state in more detail than the SEIGMA study’s Baseline General Population Survey (BGPS). The BGPS examined a sufficient number of problem gamblers to reliably establish their prevalence in the population, as well as their demographic and gambling profile. However, the number of participants was too small to arrive at a more detailed understanding of problem gamblers.

SEIGMA team examines lottery sales during first year of casino operations in state

Mark Nichols, PhD, a 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 initial assessment of the first year of Massachusetts casino gambling impacts on the state's lottery sales

Both statewide and nationally, there is concern about the impact of the introduction of casinos on lottery sales.  In Massachusetts, we are in the fortunate and unique position of having detailed sales data from the Massachusetts Lottery that 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, at different driving distances, and statewide).  Following the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in June 2015, the present analysis shows that lottery sales have not decreased statewide or nearer the casino during the first year.  We will continue to monitor lottery sales to determine if the first year 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.

Profiles examine real estate challenges and opportunities in three communities targeted for casinos

Henry Renski is an associate professor of Regional Planning in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at UMass Amherst. Thomas Peake is a Research Analyst at the UMass Donahue Institute. In this post they discuss their study of baseline real estate conditions in the three communities currently designated to host a casino in Massachusetts. 

In 2015, the UMass Donahue Institute produced a series of host community economic profiles for the cities of Everett and Springfield, Massachusetts and the town of Plainville, Massachusetts. The goal of these reports was to document the historical trends in various economic indicators prior to the opening of the casinos. The baseline real estate conditions reports now being posted are intended to serve as companions to those profiles, with a focus on past trends in residential and commercial real estate in each of the host communities and their designated surrounding communities.