Updated May 28 at 9:28pm

Study: Mass. gamblers account for Twin River growth

The University of Massachusetts Center for Policy Analysis released its 2013 New England Casino Gaming Update on Sunday. The annual release reports that the bulk of Twin River revenue growth in the past six years can be attributed to Massachusetts visitors. More

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Study: Mass. gamblers account for Twin River growth

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DARTMOUTH - The University of Massachusetts Center for Policy Analysis released its 2013 New England Casino Gaming Update on Sunday. The annual release reports that the bulk of Twin River revenue growth in the past six years can be attributed to Massachusetts visitors.

The center’s report also states that Bay State residents significantly outpace Rhode Islanders in visits to and spending at the Lincoln-based casino.

Whereas Rhode Islanders accounted for 46 percent of visits to Twin Rivers and spent $241 million on gaming, food and entertainment in 2012, Massachusetts visitors accounted for 51 percent of visits and spent $271 million.

The largest disparity illustrated by the study, however, was the reported increase in spending at Twin Rivers and Newport Grand by visitors based on state.

Since 2006, spending by Massachusetts casino-goers grew from $182.2 million to $295.3 million. This change accounts for 86 percent of Twin River’s revenue growth in that period. Rhode Island spending hardly grew one percent each year in the same duration, increasing from $251.3 to $269.5.

In a prior report by the center, the period between 2006 and 2012 also demonstrated a 261 percent increase in Bay State visitors to Twin Rivers. Visits by Rhode Island residents increased by 2 percent.

“Anyone who watches a television, or looks at billboards by the highway, knows that Twin River has been aggressively marketing in the Bay State,” Clyde W. Barrow, director of the center, said in a statement. “Despite being located in Rhode Island, Twin River is now more than ever dependent on spending by Bay Staters.”

Barrow called the dependency of Massachusetts gamblers a “double edged sword,” in light of the Bay State’s current progress in licensing three resort casinos and one slot parlor in the state.

“Where the Commonwealth ultimately sites three casinos and the slot parlor will determine whether Massachusetts is able to reassert dominance over New England’s gaming, entertainment and tourism sectors by stemming the flow of Massachusetts spending into Connecticut and Rhode Island and by capturing additional spending from northern New England, Canada, and other visitors,” Barrow added.

Massachusetts spending has generated significant tax revenue for both Rhode Island Connecticut governments. Since 2004, Massachusetts spending at Rhode Island slot parlors has created $1.1 billion in tax revenue. In 2012 Bay State spending at Connecticut casinos generated $76.5 million in revenue. Massachusetts citizens account for 32 percent of Foxwoods 19 percent of Mohegan Sun visitors.

The report also noted that the Northeastern gaming industry will continue to grow at it integrates casinos from Mid-Atlantic states. There are currently 55 Class III casinos in the Northeaster Corridor.

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