The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved awards totaling over $10.2 million that will go to numerous municipalities in Massachusetts.
The funds come from the Community Mitigation Fund, and help benefit a wide range of initiatives in the Commonwealth.
State entities receiving funds include organizations related to community planning, gambling harm reduction, public safety, projects of regional significance, specific impact, transportation planning and construction, and workforce development.
The news was announced in a press release from the MGC on Wednesday morning.
Grant specifics: A well-rounded approach
In total, 46 grants were awarded to a wide range of applicants.
The largest award was given to the City of Springfield for a total of $1.5 million. According to the MGC, this grant will be used to assist the Central Mixed-Use Parking Infrastructure Project in the MGM Springfield and MassMutual area.
More specifically, it will seek to solve area parking deficiencies, improve traffic flow and assist new economic development in the area.
The second-biggest award totaled $542,400 and was given to the City of Malden. This award helps fund the construction of a portion of the Malden River Works Park project, as well as the Malden River Greenway. Both initiatives will allow public access to the Malden River.
Other noteworthy grants were given to several police and fire departments, MassHire, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
Strengthening Massachusetts communities
“The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is proud to continue to support our local communities through the Community Mitigation Fund program as they seek to advance needs in road safety, public safety training and personnel, job readiness programming, and tourism marketing,” MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said in the gaming commission’s press release.
Judd-Stein added, “We congratulate the 2023 grant recipients and eagerly await the implementation of these innovative and tangible initiatives, which help strengthen Massachusetts communities and uphold the Commonwealth’s commitment to maximizing the benefits of the state’s gaming industries while mitigating any unintended impacts that may be associated.”
What is the MA Community Mitigation Fund?
The Massachusetts Community Mitigation Fund gathers tax revenue to use as grants for local projects for communities located near Massachusetts casinos.
The fund was established by the Massachusetts gaming law, and helps host and surrounding communities to offset costs related to casino construction and operation.
Grant awards from the fund support a range of community needs. Most notably, the fund aims to assist initiatives related to education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, public safety, emergency services, and more.
According to the press release, the MGC has awarded approximately $47.9 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund since 2015.
Impact of MA sports betting
Part of the tax revenue generated for the Community Mitigation Fund comes from Massachusetts sports betting.
After launching back on March 10, online sports betting in Massachusetts has generated a total handle of $1.9 billion and has brought in $39.1 million in tax revenue for the state.
Tax revenue from sports betting is expected to continue to grow this fall once football season begins.