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Casinos as "Hot Spots" and the Generation of Crime

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: 2007 Pages: 115-140
Emmanuel Barthe; B. Grant Stitt
Date Published
26 pages
This analysis examines the spatial and geographic distribution of crime incidents in and around casinos.
Findings indicate that when population at risk is taken into account that casinos do not appear to be “hot spots” that generate crime. Even where data is available and the venues draw significantly less tourists, there is no clear cut evidence that casino gambling leads to problem gambling related crimes in those venues. Casino venues, according to prevailing assumptions, tend to be high crime areas. Casinos are also tourist attractions. Both of these factors may be the major contributors to the creation of “hot spots”. Relying on police incident reports, this research study focused on the geographic distribution of crime in a major casino resort city (Reno, NV) to determine the spatial impact of gambling establishments on criminal activity. It examined the questions of what was the impact of the “population at risk” on a casino’s crime problem and what was the spatial “reach” of casinos in terms of their effects on street crimes or the “spill-over” effect? Figures, tables, notes, and references


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