According to a research team for the gambling regulatory body in Massachusetts, there is still no evidence that the lottery revenues of the state have suffered a decline due to the operation of the MGM Springfield casino.
Yesterday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission revealed some of the data included in the analysis and report that was carried out by researchers from the Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences. The report was compiled as part of a broader, multi-year study of the social and economic impact that the gambling sector has on the state.
As explained by the lead presenter, Mark Nichols, it is actually good news that no evidence of any harm done by casinos to the state’s lottery sales was found. Mr. Nichols also noted that lottery revenues had been experiencing an increase and even reaching record highs, and so had lottery profit.
As researchers have revealed, a 3.05% decline in Springfield lottery sales during the first year of operation of the MGM casino in comparison to the results from the previous year. A much smaller decline of 0.38% was registered in the region including the surrounding communities (Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, Agawam, West Springfield, Chicopee, Wilbraham and Holyoke) compared to the figures in the prior year.
During the same period, lottery sales in the entire state experienced a 6.5% increase.
Lottery Sales in Massachusetts Reached Unprecedented Growth in Fiscal 2018 and 2019
Based on its research, the group revealed that no evidence was found that casinos have harmed Massachusetts’ lottery sales. The report stated that the decline of lottery revenue generated in Springfield could not be attributed to the operation of the MGM-branded casino in the city, especially considering the fact that they had only a year of data.
As revealed by Mr. Nichols, the lottery sales had been experiencing rapid growth over the fiscal 2018 and 2019 at nearly 4%. In comparison, the average growth rate is about 1.5%. According to a report summary, the overall lottery sales generated $1.1 billion in profit over fiscal 2019, with the figure representing the highest profit ever generated by the state’s lottery.
The MGM Springfield casino started operation on August 24th, 2018.
Mr. Nichols further revealed that Massachusetts lottery sales had reached a record high in March and April 2018, ahead of the MGM Springfield casino venue opening. A large Powerball jackpot may have been a contributing factor for the increased sales at the time.
The report assessed that lottery sales are currently the largest source of local aid for Massachusetts communities. According to the gambling regulatory body’s Chair Cathy Judd-Stein, explained that the research into the possible negative effects of casinos on the state’s lottery sales would be critical for the ability of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to properly assess the rapidly changing environment, especially at the time of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The three gambling establishments that offer their services in the state of Massachusetts have been temporarily closed by the state authorities because of the Covid-19 outbreak and will remain shut until at least May 4th.