Safe Exit Initiative to Conduct Two Year Study on Casinos and Sex Trafficking

WORCESTER, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#casinosSafe Exit Initiative (SEI), a survivor-led organization dedicated to safe and sustainable exits from the sex trade, has been awarded a prestigious opportunity to conduct two years of research into the relationship between casinos, casino resorts and sex trafficking in the Commonwealth.

The grant, provided by Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), recognizes survivors’ lived expertise and values their contributions to the Commonwealth’s understanding of the complex dynamics that underlie issues of human trafficking. SEI’s proposed study seeks to answer questions related to survivors’ experiences of sex trafficking in casinos and how casinos influence sex trafficking, as well as identifying services and supports that survivors of trafficking need, and ways casinos can be proactive in identifying and responding to sex trafficking on their premises and in their surrounding communities.

“SEI is excited to partner with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on this project,” said Audra Doody, Co-Executive Director and Chief Programs Officer at SEI. “The gaming industry is an established part of the Commonwealth and SEI is encouraged by the MGC’s commitment to exploring and responding to the impacts casinos have on local communities and how they can be significant players in combatting sex trafficking.”

This study, planned to launch in the fall of 2024, will involve a multidisciplinary approach, combining quantitative analysis with qualitative insights gathered through surveys and interviews with key stakeholders including law enforcement, survivor-led organizations, survivors of sex trafficking, and representatives from the gaming industry. At the conclusion of the study, SEI will deliver its findings to the Commonwealth which will include recommendations on improving outcomes for sex trafficking victims. “The question isn’t if sex trafficking exists in casinos, we know that much is true,” stated Courtney Ross Escobar, Co-Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer at SEI. “The focus of this study will explore how sex trafficking subsists in this setting and will identify solution-driven responses to commercial sexual exploitation.”

About Safe Exit Initiative

Safe Exit Initiative (SEI) is a survivor-led nonprofit organization based in Worcester, Massachusetts with a mission to create safe and sustainable exits from exploitation and the sex trade through quality programming, strategic partnerships, and comprehensive legislative initiatives.

For more information about Safe Exit Initiative and its work, please visit


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Audra Doody

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