Nav: Home

UMass Amherst researchers release reports on economic impacts of MGM Springfield

September 26, 2019

In two highly anticipated reports about the economic impacts of MGM Springfield, University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers found that the resort-casino's construction was felt in every corner of the Commonwealth, and its development has been part of the strengthening housing and real estate markets of Greater Springfield.

The reports from the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) study, based at UMass Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences, were presented Thursday, Sept. 26 to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The construction impact report details the wide-ranging economic impacts of the resort's construction. "Overall, we found that every county in the Commonwealth saw some economic benefit from the construction of MGM Springfield," says lead author Rod Motamedi, senior research manager at the UMass Donahue Institute, which leads SEIGMA's economic research. "The economic benefits did ultimately tend to grow with proximity to Springfield."

More than two-thirds of the 4,249 construction workers were Massachusetts residents, and two-thirds of the $573.2 million construction budget went to Massachusetts-based firms, according to the construction report.

The real estate impact report, presented by lead author Henry Renski, UMass Amherst associate professor of landscape architecture and regional planning, notes that the February 2014 awarding of the MGM license coincided with the economic recovery from the Great Recession.

"The period since the awarding of licenses around the state has been a time of strong economic growth in Massachusetts," says Mark Melnik, who leads the SEIGMA economic team at the Donahue Institute. "This broader economic context is important to keep in mind when interpreting the results of the report since it is difficult to disentangle which real estate trends are attributable to the casino versus other economic trends."

In addition to new, major employers like MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018, other factors influencing the real estate upturn include economic growth and real estate investment associated with the economic recovery, as well as long-term community development initiatives, Melnik says.

To supplement their understanding of the real estate data, SEIGMA researchers interviewed Springfield housing experts, social justice leaders, community organizers and a land use planner to document concerns about gentrification and displacement. Those collaborators noted a rise in speculative multi-family property investment, which can lead to evictions and displacement.

Some other highlights from both studies:
  • During the five-year construction period, total statewide economic activity increased by $849 million, with net new economic activity totaling $512 million.

  • This economic activity created or supported about 1,000 jobs, representing $397 million of income.

  • Springfield's single-family home sales, which had been flat following the recession, picked up in 2014 and experienced steady growth after the MGM license was awarded.

  • Median gross rents increased in Springfield and across the state before and after the casino license was awarded, suggesting the study area was following larger state trends.

  • Springfield community leaders noted increased foot traffic in the downtown area since the casino opened, adding that the impact seems to be limited to businesses and restaurants adjacent to the casino.
The SEIGMA interdisciplinary research team was chosen by the Gaming Commission to perform state-mandated research to gauge the social and economic impacts of casino gambling in Massachusetts. The first-of-its-kind study provides evidence-based data to inform the Gaming Commission's annual recommendations to the Legislature.

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Related Public Health Articles:

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.
BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.
The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.
Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.
Bloomberg American Health Initiative releases special public health reports supplement
With US life expectancy now on the decline for two consecutive years, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative is releasing a supplement to Public Health Reports, the scholarly journal of the US Surgeon General.
Data does the heavy lifting: Encouraging new public health approaches to promote the health benefits of muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE)
According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, almost 75 percent of US adults do not comply with public health guidelines recommending two or more muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE) sessions a week, with nearly 60 percent of the population doing no MSE at all.
The Lancet Public Health: Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health
Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.
Mass. public safety, public health agencies collaborate to address the opioid epidemic
A new study shows that public health and public safety agencies established local, collaborative programs in Massachusetts to connect overdose survivors and their personal networks with addiction treatment, harm reduction, and other community support services following a non-fatal overdose.
Cyber attacks can threaten public health
Gordon and Landman have authored a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that addresses the growing threat of attacks on information systems and the potential implications on public health.
Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks.
More Public Health News and Public Health Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 1: Numbers
In a recent Radiolab group huddle, with coronavirus unraveling around us, the team found themselves grappling with all the numbers connected to COVID-19. Our new found 6 foot bubbles of personal space. Three percent mortality rate (or 1, or 2, or 4). 7,000 cases (now, much much more). So in the wake of that meeting, we reflect on the onslaught of numbers - what they reveal, and what they hide.  Support Radiolab today at