Massachusetts Casino Survey Shows Success Recapturing Out-Of-State Spending
A recent survey of casino patrons in Massachusetts shows the state made a good bet in building casinos. The survey was conducted at Plainridge Park Casino and reveals how successful the location has been at recapturing out-of-state spending among local casino gamblers.
The survey was part of a larger, multi-year study conducted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Called the “Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts,” the study focused on the impact of the state’s 2011 legislation that approved three resort casinos and one slots parlor.
Plainridge Park opened in June 2015. By comparing patrons self-reported spending before Plainridge opened to their self-reported spending in the casino after it opened, researchers were able to estimate how much money out-of-state money has been recaptured.
The researchers estimate that Massachusetts casinos have recaptured 58.3 percent of all gambling spending by residents since 2016. They estimate 16.3 percent was reallocated.
Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Enrique Zuniga praised the study, saying they were the only gaming commission in the country with access such crucial data. Zuniga said the survey results would be used to inform gambling policy and help the council make data-driven decisions.
The survey also gathered information about the highest-spending demographic in-state casinos. The average gambler at Plainridge is white, older than middle-age, educated, and has a household income between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. Slot machines are still the most popular form of gaming among Massachusetts gamblers – played by 87 percent of survey respondents.