“Concerning the impact of state lotteries on property crime rates, we find that on average, the rate of property offenses per 100,000 population increases by 112.7 when a state operates a lottery. This effect is significant and supports the hypothesis that lotteries in some way may create environments more conducive to property crime. Given the mean value of property offense rates of 3,989.18, this implies an increase in property offense rates of nearly 3 percent. In absolute terms, based on the average population of states in 1987, these figures imply an increase of an additional 5,4778 property offenses in each state in every year that a lottery is operated. That lotteries attract organized criminals, are used for money laundering, create feelings of relative deprivation, further skew the income distributions, and/or foster a “something for nothing” atmosphere are possible explanations for our results. Additional research exploring these competing hypotheses is desirable. Our results simply indicate that societal costs of lotteries may exceed the obvious administrative costs borne by states” (Mikesell and Pirog-Good 1990, 15).
CRIME RATES AND THE PRESENCE OF CASINOS/GAMBLING
The following table compares crime rate increases by percentage from 1977 (the year before casinos were introduced in Atlantic City) to 1990 for selected areas. No other city in New Jersey or Florida allows casinos. It was prepared by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, August 15, 1994.
Crime Atlantic New Miami Florida Nationally Category City Jersey
Rape 156% 50% 62.3% 32.4% 62%
Robbery 159% 76% 228.% 123.3% 55%
Assault 316% 77% 156.9% 61.6% 97%
Larceny 451% 8% 76.2% 19.5% 35%
Crime 230% 9% 96.6% 30.2% 15.1%
In 1989, two members of the Department of Economics at Temple University conducted their own study regarding the influence of casinos on crime in Atlantic City and surrounding areas. Their research revealed that, “Controlling for wealth, unemployment, and size of police force and standardizing by population, it was found that the post casino years (since 1978) showed a markedly higher incidence of crime. Also, crime fell with the distance, in minutes of travel, from Atlantic City” (Hakim and Buck 1989, 410).
Atlantic City is not the only city that has shown an increase in crime after the introduction of casino style gambling. What follows are quotes and figures from other cities that have felt the criminal effects of casinos.
“Casino gambling was legalized in Deadwood, South Dakota in late 1989. The local state’s attorney reported that, after three years: felony crimes increased by 40%, child abuse was up 42%, domestic violence and assaults rose 80%. Police costs doubled” (National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, 1995).
Speaking of Tunica County, Mississippi, since the introduction of casinos, district attorney Laurence Mellen states: “There’s an increase in violent crime, armed robberies and sexual crimes. Knowing the background of the cases, it’s because of gambling” (Saul, 1995).
Crime Statistics From Jan.-Jul. 1993 versus Jan.-Jul. 1994
(casinos were opened in the fall of 1992)
Crime 1993 1994 %increase
rape 13 37 185%
robbery 35 105 200%
assault 691 1,114 61%
burglary 262 551 110%
larceny 1,219 2,423 99%
vehicle theft 88 218 148%
arson 11 15 36%
accident 1,411 2,227 58%
“In Central City, [Colorado], just two years after gambling was introduced, assaults and thefts had already increased by 400 percent, and there were approximately eight times as many arrests for drunken driving (Spayd, 1993, p. 1D). In nearby Black Hawk, the town was forced to hire 22 additional police officers to handle the added crime burden (Bogert, 1994, p. 23). To the south, the town of Cripple Creek has increased the size of its police force from three in 1991 to 24 (Long, Clark, and Liston, 1994, p. 46), and annual arrests on DUI charges have risen from approximately five to 200 (Hamilton, 1994)” (Reno, 1994).
ORGANIZED CRIME AND GAMBLING
“Togel Online Authorities agree that the move toward ownership of casinos by publicly traded corporations such as the Hilton and Ramada hotel chains has helped clean up the industry. But many add that it’s naive to think that criminals won’t continue to be attracted to the cash that casino gambling produces” (Ison 1993).
Lt. Loren Stevens, head of the Intelligence Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (his unit investigates organized crime, labor racketeering, political corruption and contract murders), would agree. He says, “`cleaned-up’ is a matter of definition. You don’t have to have four capos [mafia chieftains] in the pit to skim the joint [i.e. casinos].” He continues, “you’re always going to have politicians involved, and you’re always going to have mob involvement in gambling. There’s just too much money. The traditional La Cosa Nostra may not be as alive and well as it has been in the past, but it is alive, and its involved in the same rackets it’s always been in” (Ison 1993).
“Think of a casino as a giant waterfall, expert Robert Blakely likes to say, a Niagara of cash. Every mobster in America, according to Blakely, one of the country’s foremost authorities on legalized gambling and the mob, wants to dip his bucket in the river” (Ridenhour 1992).
“Even in places where the people in charge really wanted to protect the public purse–a proposition that has at times proven questionable wherever casino gambling has been legalized so far–the best that anyone could do was cut their losses. In the same way that you cannot keep the thirsty from the shores of a river 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Blakely and other experts agree, so you cannot keep organized crime from stealing from a casino, and most other forms of legalized gambling, especially riverboats and video poker palaces” (Ridenhour 1992).
“`Anytime you have an operation that is lucrative like gambling, organized crime will have an interest in it,’ [says] John M. Cozza, executive director of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission” (Montero and Rollenhagen 1995).