UMass Amherst researchers release findings on the economic impacts of MGM Springfield construction

Researchers from the UMass Donahue Institute, as part of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research study at UMass Amherst, have released findings on the economic impacts of constructing MGM Springfield. Specifically, these findings detail: 1) where the construction dollars were spent (regionally and statewide), 2) where the construction workers resided and whether it was a diverse workforce, and 3) what were the total statewide economic impacts of constructing MGM Springfield. The findings were released today after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission open meeting in Springfield.

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UMass Amherst researchers assess the early impacts of MGM Springfield on real estate conditions in Springfield

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at UMass Amherst examined the initial impacts of announcing the MGM Springfield casino license in February 2014 and its subsequent construction on housing and real estate conditions in Springfield, Massachusetts and its surrounding communities. This report was recently released at an open public meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. These findings follow the baseline report that examined housing and real estate conditions in Springfield prior to the announcement of the MGM Springfield license.

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Prof. Volberg speaks to WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Prof. Rachel Volberg and SEIGMA principal investigator speaks to WAMC Northeast Public Radio about SEIGMA's research in Massachusetts, public health implications, and responsible gambling initiatives.

Listen to it here.

UMass Amherst research team (SEIGMA) releases findings on the First-Ever Major Cohort Study of Gambling in the U.S.

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at UMass Amherst has released a report on the first major adult cohort study of gambling conducted in the United States—the Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC). By surveying the same individuals over time, cohort studies provide information on how gambling and problem gambling develops, progresses, and remits. The goals of the MAGIC study are to 1) uncover and understand populations in Massachusetts who are at a higher risk of experiencing gambling harm and problem gambling and 2) inform the development of effective and efficient prevention and treatment programming in the Commonwealth.

Research professor Dr. Rachel Volberg in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst and Principal Investigator of the MAGIC study comments on the importance of the cohort study to assess gambling behaviors in Massachusetts:

“Although this report focuses on results from before the opening of MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, we have already learned a great deal about how gambling problems among Massachusetts adults develop, progress, and remit—information that will assist the Gaming Commission and the Department of Public Health in crafting the right mix of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services to effectively minimize and mitigate gambling harm in the Commonwealth.”

Continue reading here.

NYT on New York casinos feeling the crunch of competition in the northeast casino market

"Why a $1.2 Billion Gambling Mecca Has Fallen on Hard Times–New York’s newest casinos are already struggling for survival, as an oversaturated market has cannibalized gaming revenue." Read the whole story here.

SEIGMA team offers preliminary glimpse of MGM Springfield impacts at Public Research Day in Springfield

Nine months after MGM Springfield’s opening, the UMass research team gathered at the UMass Center at Springfield to present preliminary information about the social and economic impacts of the casino.

In 2013, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission engaged a research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to conduct a comprehensive, multi-year study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) to understand the impacts of expanded gaming in Massachusetts. The study established baselines for all social and economic variables that may be affected by expanded gaming, and the team now collects, analyzes, and reports each year to identify the actual impacts in the casino host and surrounding communities, providing key information to policymakers.

On May 15, more than 35 people, largely from the Springfield area, were on hand as the SEIGMA team showcased their latest analysis of Springfield and surrounding communities, including their work on the Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) study. 

Continue reading here.

SEIGMA research feat. in GREO Research Snapshot

SEIGMA's research has been featured in a GREO (Gambling Research Exchange of Ontario) Research Snapshot—Who is most likely to treat problem gamblers in Massachusetts? Read the Snapshot here.

Volberg speaks with BBC World Service

Listen to Prof. Rachel Volberg speak with the BBC World Service on problem gambling, gender, and online casino games in Sweden. Listen here. **Clip starts at 7 minutes**

Check Out NEPR's Coverage of MGM Springfield

Check out NEPR's coverage of MGM Springfield, "How's The Springfield Casino Doing?" here. Stay tuned for SEIGMA's reports on the preliminary impacts of MGM Springfield in Springfield this Spring/Summer!

Volberg feat. in ProPublica's Series on the Expansion of Slot Machines across Illinois

SEIGMA's Dr. Rachel Volberg is featured in ProPublica's series on statewide gambling in Illinois examining the expansion of video slot and poker machines and funding for research, prevention, and treatment of problem gambling. Read it here.