The report into the effect of casinos on crime was demanded by Massachusetts lawmakers after concerns were raised by gambling opponents.
US.- A report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) into the impact of casinos on public safety has found that the state’s two casinos did not increase the crime rate.
The report was demanded by state lawmakers after legalisation due to gambling opponents’ concerns about the potential for casinos to raise the crime rate. It was based on an analysis of eight months of operations at Encore Boston Harbor and 18 months at MGM Springfield.
The conclusion read: “few patterns and trends so far have shown any direct casino ties.“
While it acknowledged that a few crimes may possibly be linked to the casinos, it said there is “no general consistency across the surrounding agencies and very little definitive proof of a casino connection among specific offenders”.
Looking specifically at each property, according to the report, MGM Springfield led to a “small increase in drunk driving” since seven drunk drivers had named the casino as their “last drink location”.
There was also a slight rise in shoplifting at nearby shops and some traffic-related complaints in the local area.
The property was recently fined $18,000 by the MGC for multiple cases of allowing entry to minors, and it has been obligated by the regulator to submit a plan to improve its compliance with state regulations.
Encore Boston Harbor. on the other hand, was not found to have affected the crime rate, as the overall rate was found “within expected ranges for the region”.
Nevertheless, like MGM Springfield, several drink drivers had cited the property as their last stop.
The commission added that the Encore attracted 3.5 million visitors in its first eight months of opening, putting into perspective the significance of the slight rise.