U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Including Tourists in Crime Rate Calculations for New Casino Jurisdictions: What Difference Does It Make?

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 24 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2000 Pages: 203-215
Date Published
13 pages

This article examines the effect of tourism on crime.


One way to analyze the effect of tourism on crime is to include the average number of visitors in the denominator used to calculate community crime rates. The article computed modified crime rates for seven new casino jurisdictions and compared them with traditional crime rates based on the resident population. A pre- and post-casino comparison indicated a minority of Part I (index) crimes increased significantly regardless of which crime rate was used. While a majority of Part II (non-index) crimes rose significantly when using the traditional crime rate, fewer than half the modified crime rates displayed any gains. It appears that a large concentration of casinos with a concomitant increase in tourism leads to an increase in Part II crimes. Part I offenses appear much less likely to involve substantial numbers of tourists either as offenders or victims. The article also notes that law enforcement practices in different communities may vary, particularly with regard to minor crimes in which officers can exercise discretion. Such tolerance may be particularly true in communities where tourism greatly affects political and economic interests. Tables, references

Date Published: January 1, 2000