The University of Massachusetts Amherst


SEIGMA Blog: Constructing Plainridge Park Casino

Rod Motamedi, a research lead on the SEIGMA economic and fiscal analysis team, recently wrote a blog explaining results from his analysis of the impacts from the construction phase of Plainridge Park Casino. Read more here.

Volberg presents research on problem gambling rates in Massachusetts to legislators

SEIGMA PI Rachel Volberg presented research results about problem gambling rates in Massachusetts to lawmakers in a meeting at the State House. The findings, from the SEIGMA study, document gambling rates before the opening of casinos in the state. Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Enrique Zuniga explained the project as “very ambitious” and “something that has never been done before in the world, mostly because we’re looking at it before and after the introduction of casinos.”

Read more here.

SEIGMA Blog: Fact Sheets Released

SEIGMA Web Manager Matthew Medeiros recently wrote a blog explaining the team's new set of fact sheets on the project. "We have initiated an ongoing series, the SEIGMA Fact Sheets, which will share information on the project, and ultimately our results, in a style that is engaging, clear, and avoids overloading readers with too much technical information," he writes. Read more here.

Volberg quoted in article on PlayMyWay program in Massachusetts

A recent Casino City Times article on the PlayMyWay program quotes SEIGMA Co-PI Rachel Volberg about the prospects for success with for the gambling budgeting program in Massachusetts. "I think the Gaming Commission and the other folks who have been involved certainly learned from the mistakes that were made in other jurisdictions, so I'm actually very hopeful that it will be an effective tool," she said. Read more here.

SEIGMA Blog: Plainridge Park Casino Patron Survey

SEIGMA Expert Advisor Laurie Salame recently wrote a blog post describing the role surveys of casino patrons will play in the study. "Our patron survey is a prime example of the ways the SEIGMA project allows experts from both the social and economic teams to work together," she writes. Read more here.

SEIGMA Blog: Assessing Health Impacts of the Springfield Casino

SEIGMA Project Manager Amanda Houpt recently wrote a blog post describing the forum on health impacts of the casino in Springfield sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community. "We were thrilled to connect with the Western Massachusetts community at this event," she writes. Read more here.

SEIGMA releases Economic Profiles of Host Communities

The SEIGMA team recently completed a series of Economic Profiles of Host Communities, which describe economic conditions before the introduction of casinos in the currently slated Massachusetts casino locations of Everett, Plainville, and Springfield. Created by the Economic and Public Policy research group at the UMass Donahue Institute, these profiles illustrate recent trends and conditions within the host communities’ industrial structure,  business community, labor force and residential population. UMass Donahue will update the profiles after casinos are introduced, tracking economic changes in these communities over time. Read them here.

SEIGMA team will present findings at community forum in Springfield

Representatives from the SEIGMA team are participating in a October 21 community forum in Springfield organized by nonprofit group Partners for A Healthier Community (PHC). SEIGMA Co-PI Rachel Volberg, along with SEIGMA Project Manager Amanda Houpt and Mark Melnik of the UMass Donahue Institute, will present findings from the SEIGMA baseline survey and from the economic impact component of the study at the forum. The event is open to the public, and will provide useful information to a wide range of representatives from social services, public health, mental health, economic development, community based organizations, health care workers and community residents. The forum will take place at the PHC offices in the Community Music School, 127 State Street in Springfield, from 10 am to noon. Read more here.

Read a Springfield Republican article about the forum here.

Valley Advocate interviews Volberg in Springfield casino article

The Valley Advocate recently published an article examining changes proposed for the MGM casino in Springfield. SEIGMA Co-PI Rachel Volberg was among those interviewed in the article, talking about how unpredictable the casino's impact will be in the city. “We have a clean snapshot of the state before any casino activity started, and we’ll just have to see how it rolls out over time,” she said. Read more here.

Baseline Survey results generate press coverage across state

The release of baseline survey results by researchers on the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study generated significant press coverage across the state.

Peruse the coverage in the links below: