The University of Massachusetts Amherst


A Key Resource for Understanding Gambling Impacts

Laurie Salame, Expert Advisor to the SEIGMA Research Team, highlights a report on gambling impacts.

What are the social and economic impacts of gambling? This is a question asked by many, accurately answered by few. In a state where casino gambling is in the news daily, the desire to understand these issues is increasingly important in the minds of many Bay State citizens.

The Massachusetts legislature was also very keen to understand these impacts, which is why the current state casino law requires ongoing research into these impacts. To achieve that end, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) chose the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its partners to carefully study these impacts. This is how the SEIGMA study began.

SEIGMA on the Road: Conferences in the Gambling Research Community

Rachel Volberg, Principal Investigator on the SEIGMA study highlights recent conference visits by the team.

The University is very quiet during the summer. However, while many students and staff here are vacationing on the seashore or in the mountains, summer is conference season for the SEIGMA team.  In June, I traveled to Baltimore to present a keynote address at the Second Annual Maryland Conference on Problem Gambling whose theme was “The Impact of Gambling on Public Health.”  In addition to my talk, Dr. Timothy Fong presented on the California Gambling Education and Treatment Services (CALGETS) program; Jim Wuelfing from the MA Council on Compulsive Gambling presented on recovery-oriented services and systems of care; and Dr. Deborah Haskins presented on the importance of connecting services to communities of color.

SEIGMA's Annual Meeting

Amanda Houpt, Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) Project Manager, reports on the recent Annual Meeting of the team, held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For most Americans, mid-April marks tax season and the return of spring. For the SEIGMA Research Team, April has additional significance as the anniversary of our project’s start date. It’s hard to believe it, but just a little over one year ago, the SEIGMA study launched. The team has been a flurry of activity ever since. To commemorate the one year anniversary of the project, we held a three-day meeting on April 14-16. Expert advisors, principal investigators, team members, and members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission convened in Western Massachusetts to update each other on progress made, collaborate, and plan for the next year.

How Slot Parlor Selection Affects the SEIGMA Research Study

With this posting, the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team begins a regular blog feature on the web. In upcoming editions we hope to feature voices from our team, and regular updates about our progress with the study.

Like many in the Commonwealth, we have been waiting for the announcement of the slots parlor license. Our offices feature a large map of Massachusetts hanging on a wall with sticky tabs marking potential host & surrounding communities, for the slots parlor and casinos. We have been in dialogue for months about the best way to collect and analyze data depending on the outcome. Several of us were in Boston when the slot parlor license announcement was made and we were excited to contact our collaborators & fellow team members to announce the news and roll out the next phase of our study.