The Relationship between Gambling and County-Level Crime
Wellford, Charles F
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Despite the rapid spread of various forms of legal gambling across the United States since the late 1980s and early 1990s, very little research has effectively examined the existence of a relationship between gambling and crime. Most of the research in this field has focused exclusively on cities with large gambling industries consisting of multiple casinos. Additionally, the effects of different types of gambling venues on county-level crime rates have been neglected in previous research. This study examines: 1) the impact of the introduction of gambling venues in general on county-level crime rates, and 2) the impact of different types of gambling venues on county-level crime. Findings for both parts of the study are mixed. The opening of gambling venues in general is associated with significant decreases in rape and assault rates; at the same time, gambling venues are found to lead to significant increases in larceny and arson rates.