Examining gambling-related crime reports in the national Finnish police register

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the connection between gambling and criminal activity in the National Finnish Police Register. First, a method was created that enabled the search for gambling-related police reports in the National Finnish Police Register. The method is based on finding gambling-related police reports by using gambling-related headwords. Second, all police reports from 2011 that included any mention of gambling were read through (n = 2,233). Suspected gambling-related of crimes (n = 737) were selected from these reports. Those suspected gambling-related crimes were then described and categorized into six different categories: suspected online-related crimes; suspected crimes that were related to lifestyle-gaming; suspected crimes that involved a gambler as a victim of a crime; criminal activity related to problem gambling; casino-connected crimes, and intimate partnership violence resulting from gambling problems. This study, being the first in Finland, generated information on the connection between gambling and criminal activity from the perspective of police reports. Moreover, the study highlights methodological issues that are involved in studying police reports.

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