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Impact of Casino Gambling on Crime in Atlantic City and Its Region

NCJ Number
S Hakim; J Friedman
Date Published
152 pages
This study investigates the effects of Atlantic City's casino gambling on the level and spatial distribution of crime by type in the region.
The study first analyzes the four types of property crimes (robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and vehicle thefts) and the violent crimes, all standardized by the population. The independent factors are domestic characteristics of the population and the community, deterrence, and mobility characteristics. Data are for 1970 and 1980, so as to analyze crime effects before and after casino operations. The study also distinguishes between communities that import crimes and those which export criminals, using the same data as in the previous study. All types of crime are then analyzed using annual data for all the years from 1972 to 1984 to determine whether crime trends have changed since 1978 and whether spatial similarities can be traced. A time series (1974-84) cross sectional analysis of all property crimes and the aggregated level of violent crimes is conducted. All types of crime were higher in the region after casinos were introduced, even when controlling for the levels of all explanatory variables. Crime was imported to localities in the region in direct relation to their wealth. Indirect data analysis reveals the visitors, offenders who move to the region because of crime opportunities, and crime committed by casino employees are the cause of crime increases. Some implications for police organization and future research are considered. Graphic data and 28 references.