Say Yes to New Hampshire. Say NO to Casinos.
Addiction, Crime, and Public Health Damage
20. Serious crimes such as rape, robbery, and violent assault increase by 10 percent.
The NH Center for Public Policy studies conducted an exhaustive review all published literature on the link between casinos and crime, finding Baylor University economist Dr. Earl Grinols’ peer-reviewed casino-crime study the “gold standard,” and by far the most rigorous and widely-cited on the subject. This study quantifies the link between casinos and increases in aggravated assault, rape, robbery, larceny, burglary, and auto theft in counties hosting casinos, with these serious crimes rising by about 10 percent within 5 years of casino opening.
Based upon the Center’s crime analysis, the NH Gaming Study Commission found that a single casino as proposed by Millennium Gaming for Rockingham Park would add more than 1,200 serious crimes each year in Salem and surrounding communities. (See page GSC 83). Five casinos would add over 2,500 crimes per year, including more than 30 rapes. It is not possible to be both anti-crime and pro-casino.
A Journal of Quantitative Criminology study — described by economists as the best to date on the link between serious crimes and slot machines — found that income-generating crimes (theft, fraud, breaking and entering, forgery, false pretenses, larceny and robbery) increase by about 10 percent as a result of the accessibility of legalized video slot machines.
Quoting from the study: “Gaming expenditure per capita is significantly positively associated with nearly every type of crime in all years of the analysis … Moreover, our results are likely to be under-estimates given the underreporting issue associated with theft from family and friends which characterizes gambling related crime.”
Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling helpline data show that, among problem gamblers seeking help, 64 percent are subject of civil actions for failure to pay debts, 62 percent admit to committing fraud, writing bad checks, or forgery, 21 percent to embezzling money from their employers, 21 percent to larceny against friends, family, or strangers.
New Hampshire is consistently ranked at the top among the safest states in the nation, Nevada the least safe. Public safety is among the most desired and critical goods provided by state and local government and is a crown jewel supporting our state’s economic competitiveness and high quality of life.
For these reasons, the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police and every New Hampshire Attorney General for the past thirty-four years have strongly opposed legalized slot casinos.