An adapted extract from The Economic Impacts of Legalized Gambling Activities by Dr. John Warren Kindt:
"SHORTLY AFTER the advent of legalized casino gambling [Nov. 1989], the Deadwood [South Dakota] casino economy lurched forward. The state attorney's office in Deadwood indicated that within approximately two years:
1. Child abuse cases had increased 42% to 43% (from 350 to 500 cases);
2. Police costs had increased 80% to 100% with a virtual doubling of the number of police officers;
3. Although national statistics had increased only slightly, crime in the Deadwood area had increased overall by 10% (although prior to 1989 the crime rate had been declining) with a 50% increase in felonies. Furthermore, there were 614 Class One misdemeanors or felonies in 1988, and 1,070 in 1992, a 75% increase in four years;
4. Domestic violence and assaults had risen 80%; and
5. Burglaries and writing of bad checks had increased, while illegal drug, prostitution, and drunk driving cases had remained relatively the same."
"George G. Payne, Chief of Police in Gulfport, Mississippi, released a report comparing the first six months of 1993 (when casinos were just coming on line) with the first six months in 1994. Results are listed below.
1. During the first six months of 1993, there were only 22 robberies in Gulfport; during the first six months of 1994 there were 70. This represents a 218% increase.
2. The number of rapes tripled.
3. Vehicle theft was up 166%, from 53 stolen cars during the first half of 1993 compared to 141 this year.
4. Arson cases increased 150%.
5. Burglaries doubled.
6. Assaults are up 66%.
7. Vehicular accidents are up 62%.
8. In total, excluding vehicular accidents, there were 1,597 crimes committed in the first six months of 1993, compared to 3,248 in the first six months of this year. This represents a total increase in crime of just over 100%".
Casinos in Florida: An Analysis of the Economic & Social Impacts
(The Executive Office of the Governor)
"Atlantic City's crime rate has exceeded the state [New Jersey] rate ever since casinos were authorized in 1978. Between 1978 and 1981, the crime rate tripled. In just three years following the opening of its first casino, Atlantic City went from 50th in the nation in per capita crime to first."
"...one study of Gamblers Anonymous members found that 47% had engaged in insurance related fraud or thefts where insurance companies had to pay the victims. The average amount of the fraud involved was calculated at $65,000."
"...two out of every three problem gamblers will commit a crime in order to support illegal gambling activities."
"...once all of their assets and credit have been drained into gambling activities, compulsive gamblers are tempted to engage in embezzlement or other illegal activities to finance their habits, and approximately 20% of compulsive gamblers attempt suicide. Studies indicate that 15% to 25% of all compulsive gamblers have attempted suicide, which is five to ten times higher than the percentage for the general population."
"One out of every four compulsive gamblers have been involved in an auto accident during the worst of their gambling."
Children & Adolescents
"Children whose parents gamble excessively are more prone to adjustment difficulties. A study of four California high schools revealed that:
1. Children of problem gamblers have higher levels of use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs and overeating during the year prior to their test period than their peers.
2. 75% of problem gamblers' children reported their first gambling experience before 11 years of age, compared to 34% of their classmates.
3. Children of compulsive gamblers experienced almost twice the incidence of broken homes due to separation, divorce, or death of a parent before they had reached the age of 15 (37%).
4. When compared to their classmates, children of problem gamblers rate themselves as more insecure, emotionally down and "unhappy with life and myself" while reporting poorer school and work performance.
5. These children also acknowledged suicide attempts at twice the rate of their classmates (12%)."
"The field research indicates that the adolescent population shows prevalence rates of 4% to 6% for compulsive gambling, which is higher than the rates among the adult population."
(See also Gamblers & Risk Takers: What's Luck Got to Do With It?, Gambling in Macau, NICOS Chinese Community Gambling Project, Legalized Gambling: The Inside Story.)