HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Emeritus


This study finds that Massachusetts has much to gain and little to lose from a casino being proposed for southeastern Massachusetts by the government of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). The proposed Wampanoag facility would not only retain the bulk of the very large number of Massachusetts’ casino customers who currently spend heavily in Connecticut’s casinos, but would also attract New Hampshire and Maine residents who currently pass through the Commonwealth on their way to casinos in Connecticut. It also notes that, because the Wampanoag facility is proposed for Bristol and Plymouth Counties—two counties with below-average incomes—the facility could bring greater balance to the Massachusetts economy. The study also examines two areas of potential concern to Massachusetts policymakers: competition with the Commonwealth’s lottery and social change. It notes that the Massachusetts State Lottery’s growth continued upward through the introduction and expansion in Connecticut of the largest casino in the world—Foxwoods—and its neighbor, Mohegan Sun. With regard to possible social problems that might be thought to be associated with gaming, the study finds that problems such as pathological gambling are not likely to be materially increased: Massachusetts residents already have had (and made use of) ready and extensive access to gambling opportunities through the Connecticut casinos, the State Lottery, and other venues. The study also addresses additional concerns of state policymakers, in particular, traffic, police, and other public infrastructure concerns. It finds that these issues do not loom so large as to necessitate the rejection of the Wampanoag proposal, and Federal law provides for negotiations between tribal and state governments over funding of incremental demands on local and state systems.


Kalt, Joseph P., Kenneth Grant, and Jonathan B. Taylor. “Public Policy Analysis of Indian Gaming in Massachusetts.” KSG Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP02-019, May 2002.