The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Volberg testifies before U.S. House committee

SEIGMA team member Rachel Volberg recently testified before a hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee in the U.S. House. The hearing examined potential impacts of H.R. 2666, a bill that would establish federal oversight of state and tribal licensing programs for internet poker in the U.S. The subcommittee has oversight of interstate and foreign trade, including regulation of commercial practices, sports-related matters, consumer affairs and consumer protection, data security and product liability.

Volberg’s testimony covered several topics, including: whether problem gambling would increase as a result of increased online gambling; populations that are most vulnerable to problem gambling; the significance of funding problem gambling research, treatment and prevention; and the need to balance potential economic benefits of gambling with consumer protections.

“While establishing minimum consumer protections at the federal level will be helpful, these measures will not be adequate without a mechanism to adequately fund prevention, treatment and, most importantly, research on problem gambling in the United States,” said Volberg.

Read Volberg’s full testimony here.

SEIGMA website launched

The Social and Economic Impact of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was pleased to announce the recent launch of their website at a November 7, 2013 meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) in Boston.

The SEIGMA project began in April 2013, when the MGC engaged a research team based at in the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences to undertake a comprehensive research project on the economic and social impacts of the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts, with particular emphasis on problem gambling. So it made perfect sense for the SEIGMA team to present their new website to the MGC at their weekly meeting.

Read more here.

Volberg comments on CT Keno proposal

A recent New Haven Register article quotes Dr. Rachel Volberg, principal investigator for SEIGMA. The article examines arguments against a proposal to legalize Keno gambling in Connecticut.

In the article Volberg mentions there is empirical evidence that “the speed of the game is associated with higher rates of problem gambling.” Read more here.

New England Public Radio interviews Volberg

Dr. Rachel Volberg, principal investigator for SEIGMA, recently appeared on the New England Public Radio (NEPR) program Morning Edition.

The program examines why the state of Massachusetts is studying the the impact of gambling on society before casinos open their doors. Volberg talks with NEPR about the UMass team's work on the SEIGMA study. Listen here.

Boston Globe article on SEIGMA announcement

The announcement that a UMass team will conduct the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study garnered coverage in The Boston Globe.

The article quotes Dr. Rachel Volberg, principal investigator for the study. "This is the first time that the question of how the impacts of casino gambling change over time will be addressed in a comprehensive way,” Volberg said in a statement. “No other jurisdiction in the world has attempted such an effort." Read more here.