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No Rise In Massachusetts Crime After Launch Of First Casino

Plainridge Park CasinoA recently released report has shown that there is no significant increase in crime after Massachusetts’s first casino, Plainridge Park Casino located was opened. Before the casinocould open in Plainsville, a number of anti-casino lobbyists opposed the casino saying that it would impact the residents of Plainsville in a negative way.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) asked crime analyst Christopher Bruce to analyze police data to understand if the opening of the casino has had any impact on crime rates in the surrounding areas.

As a part of the study, Bruce who is a former member of the Danvers Police Department examined data extracted for Plainville and other five neighboring communities for the six months subsequent to the launch of the casino. He concluded that there was little evidence to suggest that crime had increased due to the presence of the casino.

In a statement, Christopher Bruce said,

It has produced some increases in traffic-related activity, the types of increases that you would expect with any major facility of that size and drawing that much traffic to the region. But there's been no indication so far that it's caused an increase in any crimes or other detrimental social harms in the area

The Plainridge Park Casino does not provide table games as of now and only offers slots. The casino opened in July 2015 and is the first of the four casinos that the state expects to launch in the next few years.

The crime data analysis showed a minor increase in traffic incidents, drunken driving and reported cases of prostitution and kidnappings. According to Bruce these increases however have no relation to the casino, with none having occurred in the vicinity of the Plainridge Park Casino.

Plainville Police Chief James Alfred also said that so far there seems to have been no impact on crime from the casino. Bruce has however warned that the period of study was too short to draw any major conclusions but added that he concurred with earlier research done on the subject that showed that crime did not inevitably rise due to presence of casinos.

The current study is a part of a larger research program that will include regular research studies to understand the effect of casinos on problem gambling, crime and other social ills in the surrounding areas and in the state.

The chairman of the Commission Stephen P. Crosby said that the regular reports were going to allow a better understanding of the effects of casinos. He also said that the studies could serve as an early warning system for detecting problems and allow quick action to protect public safety.


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