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Casino Gambling as a "Growth Pole" Strategy and Its Effect on Crime

NCJ Number
Journal of Regional Science Volume: 29 Issue: 4 Dated: (1989) Pages: 615-623
J Friedman; S Hakim; J Weinblatt
Date Published
9 pages
This study shows that although casino gambling in Atlantic City, N.J., has brought an economic boom to the region, it has also brought a crime rate the region would not have had otherwise.
The pre-casino crime experience of the communities in the region is used as a baseline from which the effect of the introduction of casinos is measured. Although no true control group was used, the communities in the region less accessible to Atlantic City serve this purpose. For 64 localities with a population of over 1,000 in New Jersey's Atlantic City Region, annual time-series data on the aggregate level of all crimes, three property crimes, the aggregate level of violent crime, and economic and population indicators were compiled for 1974-84. The level of all crimes but larcenies was higher in the post-casino years 1978-83 than in the earlier period 1974-77. The level of all crimes in localities adjacent to Atlantic City and along the major nontoll routes to Philadelphia and New York City up to approximately 30 miles from Atlantic City was higher than the level for the same crimes in other localities. The crime increase was more than the population increase warranted. 1 figure, 2 tables, 19 references.


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