Timothy A. Kelly, Ph.D.
N.G.I.S.C. Research Director

January 21, 1998
Atlantic City, NJ


It has been less than 90 days since the Research Agenda was unanimously adopted at the October 31st Commission meeting, and a lot has happened since that time. Following is a topic by topic progress report.

National Survey and Community Database on Gambling Behavior:

A very detailed and comprehensive REP was developed through intensive work by the Chair, the Research Subcommittee, Dr. Reuter, several consultants, and myself over the past two months. It was sent to a group of major, nationally recognized research organizations that are capable of performing both the survey and the community database work using in-house resources. Having adequate in-house resources makes it more likely that they will be able to handle the quick turnaround time and responsiveness required by the Commission.

The RFP was released on January 16, 1998, and proposals are due in by February 16, 1998. A detailed RFP timetable will be included with the Research Subcommittee presentation on January 22. The proposed research will include: 1) a national telephone survey, 2) targeted surveys to increase the number of p/p gamblers, 3) a database on economic, social, and public safety information from over 100 communities, and 4) community case studies. These areas are covered in detail in the RFP, which was sent to you on the date of release. See especially Section C for discussion of the research goals and strategies.

As noted on the RFP cover memo you received, the Commission's approval for the proposed cost of this work and for vendor selection will of course be required before the contract is awarded. Furthermore, your input will be solicited for the actual questionnaire development once that process begins.

National Research Council Study on P/P Gambling:

The contract with NRC was finalized last month, and they have already completed a literature search on p/p gambling ( 1980-1998) yielding over 2000 studies and articles. Their next step is to develop a screen of criteria by which to separate the best studies from those that are methodologically or conceptually weak. They are also working on Study Committee membership, selecting those scholars who will perform the actual research for NRC. The NRC invites Commissioners to make suggestions for committee membership, if desired (deadline is February 5, 1998). The Study Committee is scheduled to meet five times, from March to December 1998. The NRC states that the Commission will have most of the data from their initial research by mid-July, 1998. However, they are unable to deliver the pre-publication version of the final report to the Commission until March 22, 1999. The final report is scheduled for publication on April 5, 1999.

Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations Research on Laws, Regulations and Ordinances:

ACIR has proposed to perform the research required to address the areas, listed in sections 4(a)(2)(A) and 7(a)( 1 )(A) of the NGISC enabling legislation as intended for ACIR. The language calls for a review and cataloging of existing Federal, State, local, and Native American tribal government laws, regulations, ordinances, policies, and practices pertaining to gambling, including related costs. ACIR proposes a four-fold focus to accomplish this:

  1. review of existing laws, executive orders, regulations, constitutional provisions, state-tribal compacts, related policies and practices, and related costs

  2. review of relevant court decisions affecting government statutes or regulations pertaining to the legalization or prohibition of gambling

  3. assessments by government officials and others as to the effectiveness or lack thereof of current statutes, regulations, and compacts

  4. review of the special circumstances and issues of Native American gaming issues such as legalization, legal authority and enforcement (based on consultation with expert in Indian gaming law)

ACIR has revised their proposal for the cost of this work to $475K (was $490K at the Oct 31 meeting). The Research Subcommittee is scheduled to address ACIR budgetary and task issues at its next meeting.

Economic Research:

We are in the process of selecting a nationally recognized scholar in the field of economic development to review existing literature on the economic impact of legalized gambling on states, regional economies, and local communities. The outcome of the review will determine whether or not original research needs to be performed in order to clarify substitution and multiplier effects as applied to the economics of gambling. A second objective is to develop an appropriate econometric model for the impacts of legalized gambling on states and communities. Proposals for this work are due in by January 23, 1998, and are scheduled to be reviewed by the Research Subcommittee at its next meeting.

Lottery Research:

The Research Subcommittee is scheduled to address this topic at its next meeting. Potential lottery data objectives and research options will be discussed, together with possible presentation options for the next full Commission meeting.

Internet Gambling:

This form of gambling is so new that there is little literature to be reviewed. The Commission is tracking a federal legislative proposal that would make internet gambling illegal. Possible date objectives and research options have not yet been defined, though consideration has been given to inviting: one of a national expert on this matter to present at a full Commission meeting.

Co-sponsoring Options:

Commission staff have met with representatives from four sister federal agencies who have expressed interest in the possibility of co-sponsored research projects. Since negotiations are still very much in progress in all four cases, no definitive report can be given at this thee. We are hopeful that significant co-funding will result from these efforts, especially for help with financing the national survey, and will report to you the final outcome as soon as it is available.

Deadline Concerns:

With the exception of the NRC, which cannot deliver its final product until March 1999, the contractors are being asked to complete their reports for the Commission by January 1999, at the latest. That would allow five months for the Commission to interpret findings and develop its final report, which is due in June 1999.