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Faculty & Staff Honors

UMass: Awarded Multiyear Contract to Continue Gambling Impact Research in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded a renewable contract to the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team, based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, to continue their groundbreaking research into the socioeconomic impacts of introducing casino gambling in the state.

The new funding – about $1 million a year for three years, with two annual options to renew – will enable researchers with the study to complete an unprecedented, comprehensive, 12-year investigation.

“This will continue to be the longest-lasting study of the impacts of the introduction of a new form of gambling in a jurisdiction,” says lead investigator and Research Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Rachel Volberg, who has studied gambling and problem gambling across the world for more than three decades. “What’s going to be most interesting going forward is being able to have a fine-grained understanding of the disparate impacts that introducing different kinds of casinos has on communities that are differentially at risk of experiencing gambling-related harms.”

In 2013, the Gaming Commission chose the UMass consortium to carry out the robust research agenda mandated by the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act. The wide-ranging research began with community profiles and baseline population studies to depict gambling behavior in Massachusetts before any of the casinos opened. The team will release reports on the employment, operational and public health impacts of two large resort casinos now open, the research will shift toward assessing their emerging impacts.

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