Rachel Volberg, an epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and her associates have presented the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) with the results of a basic-level study on the players’ gambling behaviour across the state.
The study on the adults’ gambling behaviour, which has been the first of its kind, carried out on the territory of the US, aims to find out more about the participation of local residents in gambling before any casinos’ opening.
Before the official start of the research was given, Ms. Volberg projected that the initiative would have a massive impact on the intellectual landscape and overall knowledge about gambling in the state. She further explained that the study and its results would provide researchers with a totally new perspective of players’ gambling behaviour.
Research Provides More Detailed Information about Gambling
It was in 2013, when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission selected the researchers who carried out the first-ever thorough multi-year research aimed to find out more about the possible social and economic impact that the introduction of casino gambling would have in the state of Massachusetts. A series of economic and social effect on the local residents is being examined by the team of the SEIGMA – an abbreviation which stands for “Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts”.
The results that have been presented are from a separate study, called a Massachusetts Gambling Impact Cohort (MAGIC) study. It has been aimed to closely review some factors which have been considered of paramount importance for the development of services related to problem gambling and gambling addictions. The study provides more detailed data on the gambling industry and gambling addictions develop and make progress, as well as on the individuals who deal with problem gambling behaviour.
According to Ms. Volberg, this study was significantly important, as it could emphasize on both the risks and measures which would be helpful for more efficient treatment, recovery and prevention services which would raise the awareness of possible negative effects of excessive gambling.
A total of 3,096 residents of the state of Massachusetts took part in the SEIGMA study to report their gambling behaviours in the period 2013-2014 over the so-called Wave 1 and over the second wave that took place in 2015. According to researchers, a massive increase was registered in the total number of people who participated in gambling activities and also in the number of people who took part in horse race betting and casino gambling between the first and the second wave. In addition, an increase of between 2% and 3.2% in the gambling formats in which players were engaged twelve months ago was also reported.
An interesting part of the study is the finding that it seems not to be so difficult for people to both fall in and out of gambling addictions. According to the reports’ results, mere 49.4% of players who were described as gambling addicts over the first wave, remained in the same category over the second wave. Great many of them moved to the categories of players who are considered to be put at risk on one hand, and the ones who are described as recreational players, on the other hand.