Lottery Revenue and Plainridge Park Casino: Analysis After Two Years of Casino Operation
Excerpts from the report's Executive Summary:
The slot parlor at Plainridge Park opened in Plainville, Massachusetts on June 24, 2015. Two additional casinos are scheduled to open in Everett and Springfield and are currently under construction. With the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth has made protection of the lottery a priority. The Legislature required all prospective casino operators to be a licensed state lottery agent. In fiscal year 2017, total lottery sales in Massachusetts were just over $5.0 billion, a decrease of approximately 2.6% compared to fiscal year 2016 when sales were a record-high $5.2 billion. Lottery revenues are the largest source of unrestricted local aid in Massachusetts and the second largest source of all local aid, after Chapter 70 education aid. Local aid is distributed from a single pool according to a formula devised by the Legislature; local sales do not determine the amount of local aid that a municipality receives. In fiscal year 2017, the lottery’s net profit was a $1.039 billion, an all-time record high, of which $958 million was distributed to the Commonwealth’s municipalities in the form of direct local aid. In fiscal year 2017, Plainville received $729,447 from the lottery and other direct local aid sources, which represents 16.6% of the Town’s total state aid and 2.0% of total receipts.
- No large, significant decline in lottery revenue can be attributed to Plainridge Park Casino.
- No obvious pattern between lottery sales growth and proximity to the casino was detected. Sales have not uniformly increased at greater distances from the casino.
- In the first year after the opening of Plainridge Park Casino, lottery revenue in Plainville increased approximately 25%. It has remained at that level in the second year of operation.
- Sales for other agents in Plainville have not notably declined since the opening of Plainridge Park casino.
- Compared to the year prior to the casino opening, gains in lottery revenue in Plainville have been sufficient to offset declines in the surrounding communities, leaving sales essentially unchanged, but not matching gains in rest of the state.
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