Economic Impact of Casino Development
This memo summarizes data on state revenues from gaming in New England and provides a review of the literature on the potential secondary impacts of casinos on local economies. It is intended to inform the discussion of the proposed casino in West Warwick by offering a synopsis of the research evidence on the secondary impact of casinos on economic growth. It does not provide an extensive cost-benefit analysis of the Warwick proposal. Nor does it attempt to estimate the social costs or overall fiscal impacts of casino development.
We find that gaming revenues have stayed fairly constant as a share of overall general fund revenues in most New England states, with the exception of Rhode Island, where it has grown rapidly. Furthermore, the empirical evidence we reviewed suggests that, in most cases, large casinos in highly populated areas, such as the proposed West Warwick casino, have little secondary economic impact.