Western Massachusetts Casino

At a Glance:

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Community Types: Various

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Partners for a Healthier Community, or PHC, conducted an HIA to inform the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, local municipalities, and the public about the location of a casino in the four-county region of western Massachusetts. Legislation passed in November 2011 allows for as many as three destination resort casinos in three regions of the state, with one being slotted for western Massachusetts. The HIA informed such decisions as the siting of the facility, licensing and regulation by the gaming commission, and a ballot initiative in which voters indicate whether they favor a casino in their community. Health risks the HIA addressed include problems linked to pathological gambling (family violence, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, and injury). Potential health benefits that were analyzed include new employment opportunities and revenue to support city and state services important to health. With support from the gaming commission, PHC conducted the HIA in partnership with the local health department, the regional economic development council and regional employment board, and social service agencies.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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