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:

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

Please contact Valerie Evans ( 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

No evidence MGM Springfield casino has hurt state lottery revenues

April 10, 2020 -- A research team from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has found there is no evidence yet that the MGM Springfield casino has reduced state lottery revenues. The analysis and report, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences, was presented during a gaming commission meeting Thursday. The lead presenter was Mark W. Nichols, a professor of economics with the University of Nevada, Reno, a member of the reserach team. Read the entire MassLive story here.

Volberg Quoted in Chicago Sun Times Article on Gambling Addiction

March 27, 2020 --  UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences reported on a Chicago Sun Times article criticizing the state of Illinois for doing little to address gambling addiction after video gambling was made legal there in 2012. Rachel Volberg, Research Professor of Epidemiology and principal investigator of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study is quoted as saying the relationship between gambling addiction and other mental health issues is “a two-way street” and the large number of video gambling machines in the state makes it hard to know where to start addressing the problem of gambling addiction. See the SPHHS story here.

Nangle Arrest Highlights A Common Problem In Massachusetts — Compulsive Gambling

February 23, 2020 -- Prof. Rachel Volberg was interviewed by WGBH as part of a story inspired by the State Rep. David Nangle's arrest and problem gambling in the state. Listen here