Casinos in Massachusetts Did Not Increase Crime Rate, Says Report

In a new report, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission analyzed what is the impact of casino operations on public safety. The report found out that Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield did not increase crime rates within their regions.

MGC Reveals a Report, Outlining the Impact of Casino Operations on Public Safety

A recent report was released by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) sought to determine what was the impact on public safety from the casino operations of Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield. The report analyzed 8 months of operations at Encore Boston Harbor. Furthermore, it analyzed 18 months of operations at MGM Springfield.

In its report, the MGC concluded that “few patterns and trends so far have shown any direct casino ties“. Furthermore, the report acknowledged that while only a few crimes may be linked, there is “no general consistency across the surrounding agencies and very little definitive proof of a casino connection among specific offenders”.

Before the state legalized casino gambling, opponents of the activity raised concerns about a possible increase in crimes. As a result, lawmakers required MGC to conduct expansive research about the economic impacts of gambling in the Commonwealth. With that in mind, the report definitively proved that there is no significant increase in criminal activities as a result of the casino operations.

There Is No Sign That MGM Springfield Increased Crime

The MGC released a summary of the key findings from its report for MGM Springfield. Issues that may have been influenced by the property included – a “small increase in drunk driving“. A total of seven drunk drivers named the property as “last drink location” for the analyzed period.

Furthermore, the report listed a slight increase in shoplifting and other crimes at 24-hour shops near the casino. There were also traffic-related complaints filed with some communities and along State Police road.

Overall, the summary concluded that there is “no sign that the presence of the casino has increased crime”. Furthermore, the report said that calls for service at bars, restaurants, gas stations, and on the roads near the facility have not increased.

Encore Boston Harbor Did Not Impact Crime Rates

Focusing on the findings of the report for Encore Boston Harbor, the MGC said that overall crime rates were “within expected ranges for the region”. Analysis of drunken driving reports showed that the property may be linked with “a small number” of drunk drivers. Similar to MGM, Encore Boston Harbor was listed as the “last drink” location by seven drivers for the analyzed period.

Christopher Bruce, consultant and crime analyst at MGC, said that the crimes in surrounding areas to Encore Boston Harbor increased and decreased. He added that only a few patterns have shown a possible link to the property. However, Bruce acknowledged that the report flagged a handful of trends for future monitoring.

Furthermore, Bruce acknowledged that the property drew more than 3.5 million visitors for its first 8 months of operation. With that in mind, the study concluded that the overall crime level in the region is “commensurate with a facility of that size hosting that many visitors“.

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