Study of commercial real estate sales impacted by MGM Springfield

Hampshire County

In this May 3, 2021 photo a woman plays a slot machine while wearing a mask in the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On May 11 the American Gaming Association released statistics showing that the U.S. commercial casino industry matched its best quarter ever in terms of revenue in the first three months of 2021, taking in more than $11.1 billion as customers continued returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A recent report from the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) research team at UMass Amherst reveals the impact that state casinos have had within the last decade.

The report focuses on how casinos have impacted the real estate conditions in the host and surrounding communities that are home to the Commonwealth’s major three casinos: Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. Additionally, the data amplified that the “expansion of gambling in Massachusetts has not had a dramatic effect on the local commercial real estate markets.”

Recent findings were released during a meeting held by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday, October 24. The report “examined housing and real estate conditions in host cities prior to the announcement of the respective licenses. Casino proponents and critics, respectively, have argued about the potential impact of casinos on their communities.”

Report Highlights:

  • “While commercial real estate conditions in the host and surrounding communities have shifted over time, many of these shifts are in line with changes observed regionally or statewide.”
  • “The study period corresponds with a period of strong economic growth in the Commonwealth in general, and in the Greater Boston region in particular, so while there are many indicators of growth in the commercial real estate market, it is difficult to attribute many of those to the casinos.”

“This study highlights that while casinos in the state likely have helped to strengthen local real estate markets, the casinos also developed alongside broader robust economic recovery following the Great Recession in Massachusetts. In that, commercial real estate markets have tended to be strong in all three host communities, but we do not see any dramatic divergences from the statewide trend. That said, there are important differences in real estate conditions between host communities.”

Mark Melnik Leader of UMass SEIGMA Economic Team

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