Mark Nichols, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno, has over twenty years of experience analyzing the social and economic impacts of casinos. Working with the SEIGMA economics team at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research Group, Dr. Nichols has completed an analysis of the effects of the first year since the opening of MGM Springfield on the Massachusetts Lottery.
Both statewide and nationally, there is concern about the impact of the introduction of casinos on lottery sales. As part of the SEIGMA project, we are in the fortunate and unique position of having detailed sales data from the Massachusetts Lottery that allows us to assess the impact of casino gambling on lottery sales over time and at different levels of resolution (i.e., in host and surrounding communities and statewide). Following the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in June 2015, previous analysis by the SEIGMA team saw an increase in lottery sales in Plainville during the first year after the slot parlor opened even though statewide lottery sales retained relatively stable growth during this time. This was attributed to an increase in lottery sales at the new casino. However, following the opening of MGM Springfield in August 2018, lottery sales decreased for Springfield and surrounding communities, overall, in the first year even though lottery sales experienced a statewide increase in growth. The SEIGMA team will continue to monitor lottery sales in and around Springfield to determine if the first year results reflect longer term trends and whether the addition of another resort-style casino in Everett will have an impact on lottery sales in the Commonwealth.