Gambling: Who’s really at risk? The connection between gambling and crime

Abstract

This report examines the impact on crime experienced by other communities during the first decade or so after they have permitted gambling. The connection between casino gambling and crime is an important public policy issue not just for a community considering allowing casinos to operate locally, but for adjoining communities as well. As this report discusses, while a few studies have opined that there is too little or too inconclusive data to reach specific conclusions as to the impact of gambling on crime in a community, many respected scholars, researchers and law enforcement officials have determined that the introduction of casino gambling into a community has a significant impact on crime and not just locally, but in the surrounding region as well. It is virtually inescapable that there will be an impact on crime from introducing gambling. While its extent cannot be precisely stated, it can be stated that many categories of crime will rise. It is similarly impossible to know how many additional victims of crime there will be as a result of gambling and it will be the responsibility of decision makers to decide how many additional victims are acceptable in exchange for the perceived benefits from permitting gambling.

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