Economists: Mass. can support three gambling resorts and a slot parlor

WORCESTER — The “underserved” Massachusetts gambling market is awash with enough disposable income to support three healthy and profitable casino resorts and a slot parlor, economists and casino industry experts told the state gambling commission at a forum today.

Commission chairman Stephen Crosby said the half-day forum, organized by the commission, should put to rest recent questions over whether the state can support up to four gambling facilities, as authorized in the 2011 state casino law.

“The underlying [economic] assumptions that were the underpinnings of the law still hold,” said Crosby. “The market can handle three casinos and a slot parlor.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Questions about whether the state could support four facilities have been at the forefront of the public debate in recent weeks, since casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said in May that he would not bid to build a casino in Massachusetts, his native state, because plans to license up to three resorts and a slot parlor would dilute the market.

The commission set up the half-day symposium at Quinsigamond Community College to explore the issue of “market saturation” and to question experts who have studied the Massachusetts gambling market.

It was the second in a series of educational forums planned by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to educate commissioners and the public.