Rachel Volberg | WAMC

Rachel Volberg

The MGM lion at the entrance to the Springfield casino parking garage
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

The opening two years ago of the first Las Vegas-style casino in Massachusetts – MGM Springfield – boosted the local and state economy, provided job opportunities, and did not increase rates of problem gambling.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded $1 million per year over the next three years for an ongoing investigation into the impact of bringing casino gambling to the state.


     Out-of-state casino gambling declined significantly after Massachusetts opened its first casino in the summer of 2015.


The first casino opened in Massachusetts three years ago and newly reported research has found few downsides.

        A new study finds financial and health problems are the most common negative impacts of gambling.

Researchers are looking at the impact on Massachusetts from the introduction of large-scale casino gambling.  The project, funded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, is looking not only at problem gambling, but also at whether the economic benefits touted by casino proponents become reality. Preliminary findings were presented at a recent forum in Springfield sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the lead investigator, Rachel Volberg of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health.