The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SEIGMA News

Rachel Volberg invited to serve on inaugural Lancet Public Health Commisson on Gambling

January 8, 2021 -- Rachel Volberg has been invited to serve as a member of the newly-formed The Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling. On January 1, 2021, The Lancet Public Health announced the formation of this commission in an editorial which outlined the need for addressing gambling-related harms through the lens of public health in "response to an urgent, neglected, understudied, and worsening public health predicament". "The Commission will focus on the political and corporate determinants of harm, the epidemiology of gambling harms, including examining inequalities, interventions to reduce harms, and critical appraisal of regulatory, political, and public health responses to gambling." Dr. Volberg will serve on the commisson for 2 years. The full editorial can be read here with commentary here

Dr. Volberg's participation in this Commission has also been profiled by UMass Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences News. Read the full story here.  

Development of the Gambling Disorder Identification Test: Results from an international Delphi and consensus process

November 21, 2020 -- Rachel Volberg co-authored a new publication in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research entitled "Development of the Gambling Disorder Identification Test: Results from an international Delphi and consensus process". To address the overarching issue of variations of measures in gambling treatment studies, an expert committee of gambling researchers convened in 2004 at the Alberta Gambling Research Institute's 3rd Annual Conference, an annual independent gambling conference in Banff, Canada. The result, known as the Banff consensus agreement, was a major step forward in the conceptualization of a framework for minimal features of treatment outcome measures. From this, a process was initiated to develop the Gambling Disorder Identification Test (GDIT), as an instrument analogous to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Drug Use Disorders Identification Test. The current publication provides preliminary construct and face validity for the GDIT. Full-text of the article can be accessed here

SEIGMA Public Research Day Webinar - October 14, 2020

If you were unable to attend our 2020 Public Research Day Webinar, please find the presenation and video files below: 

Presentation (PDF)

Webinar Video (YouTube)

Executive summaries and full reports will be published to the SEIGMA website after having completed their full review at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. 

No Increase In Problem Gambling Seen After MGM Springfield Casino Opens

October 16, 2020 -- The opening two years ago of the first Las Vegas-style casino in Massachusetts – MGM Springfield – boosted the local and state economy, provided job opportunities, and did not increase rates of problem gambling. These were the key findings of new research released this week.

Listen to the interview with Rachel Volberg here

No boost found in problem gambling from MGM Springfield

October 15, 2020 -- Amherst 

Two years after MGM Springfield became the first resort-style casino in the state, data and surveys indicate that the region and city have seen economic benefits without a corresponding increase in problem gambling or at-risk gamblers, according to reports issued this week by researchers at the University of Massachusetts. The findings, from what is called the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) group, show that the casino, which opened in August 2018, has stimulated the local and statewide economy and increased job and educational opportunities for a diverse workforce.

Read the full Daily Hampshire Gazette story here

Two Years After MGM Springfield Opened, Economic Benefits Noted But No Increase in Problem Gambling Detected

October 14, 2020 -- UMass Amherst News Office reports on the SEIGMA Public Research Day Webinar. 

AMHERST, MASS. – The opening of MGM Springfield – the first resort-style casino in the state – stimulated the local and statewide economy and enhanced job and educational opportunities for a diverse workforce while not resulting in any increase in the rate of problem gambling or at-risk gamblers.

Read the news report here

MassLive Reports on SEIGMA Public Research Day Webinar

October 13, 2020 -- MGM Springfield pumped $974M into Massachusetts economy in first year; post COVID-19 recovery looms

MGM Springfield supported $356.9 million in new personal income and $974.2 million in new output within the Massachusetts economy in its first year of operation, according to a University of Massachusetts study released Wednesday.

Read the full MassLive story here

Register for the 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 from 10am - 12pm

Please find the Invitation here 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. 

To attend, please register for the event by using the link below: 

https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvcu6oqzIiGdY7w3JXPMYyKmwTgKDzZABM

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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

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