Betting the Future:

The Economic Impact of Legalized Gambling

January 13, 2005
Phineas Baxandall (Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston) and Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth College)

For over a decade, advocates and opponents of casinos in the Commonwealth have argued about whether legalized gambling would produce prosperity or ruin. Our analysis — which compares the experience of counties in the United States that house casinos with those that do not — suggests that both sides are wrong.

Instead, the introduction of a casino appears to produce a few modestly positive effects, a few modestly negative impacts, and, in several areas, no statistically significant effects at all.