Massachusetts gaming regulators met with researchers at UMass to discuss a study on the impact of casinos in the state. Researchers say the study is the first of its kind because they are collecting data now, before any casinos open in Massachusetts. Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby says this will allow state officials to look at the social and economic impacts of casinos, and adjust legislation based on the research.
“It’s not just going to be…you’re Aunt Mary says ‘hey there’s more crime in Springfield.’ We are going to know whether there’s more crime in Springfield and what the crime is and why it’s coming about and then we’ll design intervention strategies,” says Crosby. “So this is meant to give us the data to tweak the legislation to make sure the impact is as positive as it can possibly be on Massachusetts.”
MGM, which wants to open a casino in Springfield, is the only remaining applicant for the license reserved for western Massachusetts. Crosby says it is likely MGM will be awarded the license, but at this point nothing is certain.