Leo McCarthy

March 16, 1998
Boston, MA

Proposal for National Survey and Community Database Research

  • Detailed RFP Development Process - overseen by Research Subcommittee

  • Two Comprehensive Proposals Received from top firms (NORC & Westat)

  • Technical Review Panel Consisting of Five Experts - all Rate NORC Proposal Superior, and Westat proposal very good

  • Research Subcommittee review of Proposals - Unanimous Support to enter into further negotiations with the goal of concluding an agreement. The Research Subcommittee is divided on the single issue of patron interviews, with two members representing the position explained below.

  • Issues to be Addressed by NORC in Negotiations

    1. Community Database Issues, including staffing and subcontractor details and specification of procedures for obtaining difficult to find data

    2. Social Cost Calculation. Rejection of global social cost estimates. Specification of limited, focused and individual-based estimates of adverse consequences of p/p gambling

    3. Parental Consent. Clarification of parental consent procedures to balance protection of individual with attaining high response rate.

    4. NORC shall be required to prepare (by approximately month 2) a design for a pilot study of the feasibility of conducting patron interviews. The design will specify the results that need to be attained to justify the full study, for example, adequate response rate representing the mix of income groups in the facility. If the design is approved by the Research Subcommittee, then the pilot will be executed. If the pilot is successful then the Research Subcommittee will authorize the full set of patron interviews. Commissioner Wilhelm dissented, arguing that 1) the logistical and legal obstacles are insurmountable and 2) even if surmounted the resulting data would not significantly advance understanding of pathological gambling.

  • The Commission accepts both the NORC and Westat proposals as qualified. It authorizes the chair to enter into negotiations with NORC, aiming to develop a final offer which meets the substantive concerns expressed above. If those negotiations should fail, the chair is authorized to negotiate with Westat.

Economic Impact Literature Synthesis

Several good proposals were submitted in answer to the Commission RFP on this subject. The Research Subcommittee recommends that the Commission authorize the Chair to negotiate and enter into a contract with the top choice, making an offer after discussing the cost estimate.

State Lotteries

The Research Subcommittee recommends to the Commission that it authorize the Chair to develop a research proposal on this subject. The scope of the research will include, but not be limited to, a study of the ticket purchaser population, an assessment of advertising and marketing techniques, and an analysis of the degree to which revenues earmarked to government programs pre-existing the lottery have been budgeted and not substituted. The project design and cost estimate shall be reviewed by the Commission prior to execution of a research contract.