A report on the effects of legalized gambling on Connecticut’s economy criticizes the distribution of the money and says not enough has been done to address the effects of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos on the towns where they are located.
But it also credits the building of the casinos with rescuing the region from the effects of the loss of the defense industry that followed the end of the Cold War.
The $700,000 study, “Gambling in Connecticut: Analyzing the Economic and Social Impacts,” was conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group, based in New Jersey.
According to Michael Diamond, who directed the report for Spectrum, the effect of the two casinos “cries out for a regional approach. What affects municipalities doesn’t stop at their boundaries. We found there was tremendous frustration on the part of the towns. We point out that other casino jurisdictions have set up separate funds for specific local impacts.”
The report cited the town of Norwich as having had the biggest negative impact from gaming, because it is near both casinos. It uses almost all of the money that it is paid from gaming to address its negative impacts, such as building new schools to educate new residents who work at the casinos, and additional policing, rather than to lower property taxes or for public improvements. But many other towns were also listed as having suffered negative impacts from gaming.