January 13, 2005

Phineas Baxandall (Assistant Director, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston) and Bruce Sacerdote (Associate Professor of Economics, 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.

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Research Excerpt

These results suggest that economic, fiscal, or public safety factors are insufficient to either deny or invite casinos into Massachusetts. Consequently, policymakers must consider other less quantitative factors.

Phineas Baxandall and Bruce Sacerdote, study authors