Mark Nichols, PhD—professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Reno—has 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, Dr. Nichols has completed an analysis of the effects of Plainridge Park Casino on the Massachusetts Lottery, titled “Lottery Revenue and Plainridge Park Casino: Analysis After Two Years of Casino Operation.”
Statewide and nationally, there is concern that the introduction of casinos will impact lottery sales. In Massachusetts, we are in the fortunate and unique position of having detailed sales data from the Massachusetts Lottery. This 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, different driving distances, different regions, patron origination cities, and statewide).
Following the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in June 2015, the present analysis shows there is no significant negative impact on lottery sales that can be attributed to the casino. In the first year of operation, sales closer to the casino grew more slowly. While these sales declined in the second year of casino operation, they remain unchanged when including sales in Plainville and Plainridge Park Casino together. We will continue to monitor lottery sales to determine if the first two years of results reflect longer term trends and whether the much larger casinos planned for Everett and Springfield will have similar or different impacts on lottery sales in the Commonwealth.