UMass studying who’s most likely to have gambling problems

Those with gambling addiction are more likely to be men, African-Americans, daily lottery players

Photo: Thinkstock

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Researchers at UMass Amherst have identified characteristics of gambling addicts in our state. Professor Rachel Volberg presented the research Thursday before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

They found that gambling addicts and problem gamblers were more likely to play the daily lottery, have friends and family involved in gambling, and have other problem addictions. Men and African-Americans were also found to be more likely to be problem gamblers.

Continuing Coverage: MGM Springfield casino project

The goal of the research is to use this information to help the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to identify who could develop gambling problems when MGM Springfield opens its doors. Frederic Jones of Northampton, who used to live in Springfield, told 22News that these behavioral problems aren’t the casino’s fault.

“Gambling is a game of chance, and people ought to understand that. You make that choice whether you want to gamble or not. It’s all about choice,” Jones said.

This research was done by analyzing nearly 10,000 Massachusetts residents.

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