The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts Gambling News

The Seventh Annual Gambling Disorder Screening Day is on Tuesday March 10, 2020.

The Division of Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, is sponsoring the 7th Annual Gambling Disorder Screening Day on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. A Screening Day Toolkit is available for those organizations interested in hosting their own Gambling Disorder Screening Day event. More information can be found on the Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion (CHARGE) website. 

Nangle case raises specter of gambling-related fraud

February 18, 2020 - The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is working with researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and elsewhere on research, but it is still gathering data on gambling habits in the recently opened casinos in Springfield and Everett. So far, those researchers have uncovered a few clues. A baseline study of participants statewide found that 2 percent of people were problem gamblers and 8 percent reported some behaviors that put them at risk. Academics working with the gaming commission also found that after about three years of operation at the Plainridge Park slots casino in Plainville, there had been no significant change in levels of problem gambling in the surrounding area. The report did find that an increase in credit card fraud was associated with the opening of the casino. Read the full Boston Globe article here

Some Mass. Performing Arts Centers To Benefit From Casino Tax Revenue

February 11, 2020 - Some nonprofit arts venues in Massachusetts could get money from the state if they can demonstrate their bottom lines have been hurt by casino entertainment. The money will annually funnel through the Mass Cultural Council, which will receive 2% of the state's casino tax revenue for the arts mitigation fund. Read the full NEPR story here

Tufts CTSI Community Partner Awarded Grant to Address the Impact of Problem Gambling in Asian Communities

On July 1, 2019, BCNC and TUSM were awarded a $106,509 grant from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to create the Asian Center for Addressing Research, Education, and Services (Asian CARES), a community-engaged research (CER) partnership to serve people and families dealing with the negative impacts of problem gambling in Boston-area Asian communities. Read more here.

Massachusetts plans study on problem gambling among veterans

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) University of Massachusetts Amherst SPHHS

A recent Boston Globe article examines the prevalence of problem gambling among veterans, which the state of Massachusetts has targeted for a study by researchers. The article, citing data from the SEIGMA baseline survey, notes that respondents in military service since Sept. 11, 2001, reported a particularly high rate of problem gambling. 

“It’s a problem that definitely needs attention,” said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. Read more here.

MGM Springfield adopts problem-gambling prevention programs for casino

A recent Springfield Republican article explains MGM Springfield's problem-gambling prevention efforts, based upon the GameSense program developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The program, also adopted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, includes online resources about problem gambling and training for casino employees about how to spot respond to a gambler in distress. Signs of a distressed gambler, according to the article, include "pounding a fist on a roulette table, yelling out or simply spending more and more time at the slot machines". The article notes SEIGMA's baseline survey found a problem-gambling rate of 1.7 percent in the state before casinos had opened. Read more here.

Plainridge Park Casino reports on totals for PlayMyWay program signups

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission released figures indicating that signups for the PlayMyWay program at Plainridge Park Casino totaled 3,216 people, or about 7.4 percent of the regular customer base at the slot casino. The Sun Chronicle reports an additional 135 people voluntarily added themselves to a list of those banned from the casino due to their gambling addiction. Read more here.

Wynn Resorts awarded environmental license for Everett casino site

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded an environmental license to Wynn Resorts for their proposed casino at a site in Everett. The Boston Herald notes in an article that the city of Somerville had challenged the license after the DEP initially awarded it earlier in 2016. Read more here.

Former Massachusetts Gambling Commissioner describes agency's launch

James McHugh, a member of the Massachusetts Gambling Commission (MGC) from 2012-2015, recently penned an article describing his time on the MGC which encompassed the beginnings of the agency through the opening of the first gambling location under the Expanded Gambling Act-the slot parlor at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. "At this point, the commission is a little over four years old and is well into a transformation from a startup focused primarily on licensing and formulation of policy to a mature body in full regulatory mode," he writes in CommonWealth magazine. Read more here.

Holyoke Community College partners with MGM to open culinary training center

Officials at Holyoke Community College have announced they are partnering with MGM Resorts International to open a culinary training center in Holyoke. The Springfield Republican reports the center will be funded in part by $400,000 from Holyoke's neighboring community impact funds, as well as $100,000 in direct funds from MGM. Read more here.