The University of Massachusetts Amherst


SEIGMA Blog: Research Assistants make up vital part of data analysis

SEIGMA Web Manager Matthew Medeiros recently wrote a blog post highlighting the dozen UMass research assistants that joined the project this academic year. The RAs have been hard at work analyzing data for the upcoming release of SEIGMA’s baseline survey results. Read more here.

SEIGMA Blog: Measuring the Economic Effects of Casinos on Local Areas

SEIGMA Expert Advisor Mark Nichols, Ph.D., recently wrote a blog post highlighting a white paper he co-wrote with the UMass Donahue Institute Economic and Public Policy Research Group. The blog examines community matching, one of the methods the SEIGMA team will use to analyze the economic impacts of gaming venues in Massachusetts. Read more here.

SEIGMA Co-PI Volberg wins grant from Massachusetts Gaming Commission for new gambling study

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently announced that it will partner with a team led by SEIGMA Co-Principal Investigator Rachel Volberg to conduct a first-of-its-kind, multi-year cohort study to examine how gambling problems develop over time and thus illuminate the causes of problem gambling. This ground-breaking research project, known as the Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) study, will have significant value as it will highlight factors critical to developing strategic and data-driven problem gambling prevention, treatment and recovery support services in Massachusetts. Read the full announcement here.

Check the press coverage of MAGIC and SEIGMA in the links below:

SEIGMA Blog: A Key Resource for Understanding Gambling Impacts

SEIGMA Expert Advisor Laurie Salame recently wrote a blog highlighting “The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling" report. Published by the Canadian Consortium for Gambling Research, it contains an extensive review of existing literature on the social and economic impacts of gambling. The report also proposes a theoretical framework for future socioeconomic impact studies, which the SEIGMA study uses. Read more here.

Volberg appears on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show

SEIGMA Principal Investigator Rachel Volberg recently participated in a discussion about benefits and drawbacks of the casino industry on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show. Speaking about the UMass Amherst study, she said, "the idea here is to sort of create a virtuous circle, if you will, of regulating through the use of ongoing empirical evidence of what the impacts are so that those can be addressed in a rapid way, before they spiral out into things that are so big that they are very difficult to address." Other guests included American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman, Boston College professor Richard McGowan, and Urban  Institute Tax Policy Center fellow Tracy Gordon. Listen here.

SEIGMA team meets with Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners at annual meeting

Researchers on the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study recently held their annual meeting on campus. Team members including faculty and staff from the University of Massachusetts and experts from across North America came together to review progress of the study, believed to be the first of its kind to study social and economic impacts of gambling both before and after legalized gambling. On April 15 the research team met with representatives from several state agencies and organizations, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Commissioners Stephen Crosby and Enrique Zuniga from the MGC met with press during a break in discussion. Peruse the coverage in the links below:

Boston Herald quotes Volberg in article

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg was interviewed for a Boston Herald story on a visit by members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to the SEIGMA Annual meeting. "This is an attempt to take a snapshot of what gambling behavior looks like in Massachusetts before casinos," says Volberg in the article. Read more here.

Volberg advises on Casino Health Impact Assessment report

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg was recently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Western Massachusetts Casino Health Impact Assessment, created by Springfield nonprofit Partners for a Healthier Community. Volberg provided input and feedback on the report, which assesses possible health impacts of a casino in the region and includes suggestions to ease negative results and improve positive ones. Read the report here.

SEIGMA team member Salame featured in CBS3 news report

Laurie Salame, an expert advisor for the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team, was recently featured in a CBS3 news report about the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management's annual Hospitality and Tourism Management career fair. Salame, who teaches in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, spoke with the local news affiliate about casino job opportunities for students. Watch the report here.

SEIGMA team members to appear on radio show

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team members Rachel Volberg and Laurie Salame will participate in a radio program discussing gambling and hosted by Boston NPR station WBUR. The program, "WBUR on Tap," takes place Feb. 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. Read more here.