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Report Reveals Plainridge Park Casino Is Creating Jobs And Economic Growth

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Plainridge Park Casino’s economic impact goes well beyond gaming revenue and on-site jobs. That is, according to a research report on the economic impacts of casino gambling in Massachusetts.

Among the findings, the report states the casino supports over 2,400 jobs statewide. Additionally, its sizable gaming revenue is responsible for tens of millions of dollars of economic growth.

The report, titled, Plainridge Park Casino First Year of Operation: Economic Impacts Report, was produced by the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences (SPHHS), and carried out by Thomas Peake and Rod Motamedi of the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

The research is part of the school’s multi-year Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research project.

SEIGMA submitted its findings to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at a hearing on Thursday.

Methodology

The research centers on data collected from Plainridge Park Casino and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, as well as on-site patron surveys:

“Since Plainridge Park Casino began operations in June of 2015, UMDI has worked with PPC and the MGC to obtain data on employment, wages, spending, and government revenue related to the operation of PPC.

“UMDI also assisted in designing a survey of patrons, which other members of the SEIGMA team administered on-site at PPC on eight occasions during the first 12 months of operation.

“These data are presented in this report along with an estimate of the total economic impacts to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts resulting from PPC’s first year of operation.”

Key findings

Jobs

The report states that Plainridge Park Casino has 556 year-round employees. The casino pays those employees $17.8 million in wages, according to SEIGMA.

Further, SEIGMA estimates that an additional 1,000 jobs are a direct result of the casino. These are largely at companies that do business with PPC. Resultingly, it supports hundreds more across the state.

The report concludes that at least 2,416 jobs directly resulted from the casino:

“To recap, less than a quarter of the jobs created or supported by the opening of PPC were actually at the facility.

“The majority of the employment impact related to PPC is the result of new state and local government spending due to the revenue collected on PPC’s gross gaming revenue. While an estimated 340 jobs were lost statewide as consumers shifted their spending towards PPC, that number was somewhat lower than expected, due to the majority of casino spending coming from “recaptured” patrons.”

Patron spending

One of the more interesting findings had to do with patron spending. Namely, where the money is coming from.

The report revealed most of the “on-site spending is new or recaptured.”

According to SEIGMA’s report:

  • 54 percent of revenue comes from recaptured Massachusetts patrons, who would gamble out of state if PPC didn’t exist.
  • 21 percent of patron spending is new. Additionally, they are coming from out-of-state residents.
  • The remainder of patron spending was from reallocated money. Rather, money that would have been spent in some other way if Plainridge Park Casino didn’t exist. Incidental spend is also a factor.

Fully 75 percent of all spend associated with Plainridge Park was new or recaptured.  That amounts to $166 million in gaming revenue and  on- and off-site non-gaming spend of $10.5 million.

Economic impact

In its first year, Plainridge Park Casino generated total gross gaming revenue of $166 million. Of that, a full $81.4 million of that went to local aid, amounting to 82 percent. The other 18 percent went to the Race Horse Development Fund.

Because of Plainridge Park Casino:

  • Massachusetts cities and towns received local aid payments of $66.4 million
  • The Race Horse Development Fund received $15 million

Additionally, vendors, governments, and other entities received $30.2 million in payments from the casino.

That’s in addition to the nearly $18 million in wages the casino pays its employees.

Bottom line

The researchers came to the following conclusions:

“The economic impact of Plainridge Park Casino’s first year of operation went far beyond the 556 positions at the casino.

Between the $17.8 million in new wages being spent in the economy, $19.1 million spent on vendors and organizations, and the $77.6 million in new revenue collected by various government entities, the majority of the 2,758 jobs created or supported by the casino were not actually on site.

These positive impacts must be somewhat tempered by the estimated 340 jobs lost due to reallocations in patron spending, leading to a net impact of 2,417 jobs.

This number would have been much lower were it not for the substantial amount of new revenue collected by the state, which ultimately had a larger economic impact than all other new activity.

It also could have been much lower if not for the majority of patron spending coming from patrons who would otherwise have spent their money out-of-state.”

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the poker media, contributing to offline and online publications centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. These include OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com as well as USA Today. Steve is based in Massachusetts and is also a poker player.