Western Massachusetts Casino HIA
- Partners for a Healthier Community
Partners for a Healthier Community, or PHC, will conduct a 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 will inform 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 will address include problems linked to pathological gambling (family violence, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, and injury). Potential health benefits to be analyzed include new employment opportunities and revenue to support city and state services important to health. With support from the gaming commission, PHC will conduct the HIA in partnership with the local health department, the regional economic development council and regional employment board, and social service agencies.
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