crime rate and casino
Topics: Casino, Crime, Criminology, Gambling / Pages: 31 (7733 words) / Published: Feb 24th, 2014

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Douglas Walker

Econ Journal Watch,
Volume 5, Number 1,
January 2008, pp 4-20.

Do Casinos Really Cause Crime?
Douglas M. Walker1
A comment on: Earl L. Grinols and David B. Mustard, “Casinos, Crime, and
Community Costs,” The Review of Economics and Statistics 88(1), February
2006: 28-45.
The Review of Economics and Statistics published “Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs” by Earl Grinols and David Mustard in February 2006. The authors claim that their analysis of casinos and crime is “the most exhaustive ever undertaken in terms of the number of regions examined, the years covered, and the control variables used” (43-44). The paper is a noteworthy contribution to the gambling literature. The scope of their analysis is impressive.
Since its publication the Grinols and Mustard paper has generated much discussion in the press, activist websites, policymaking discourse, and the gambling literature.2 Because the Grinols and Mustard paper is published in a refereed journal with high academic prestige, it is likely to be influential in subsequent research and political discussions of the casino-crime relationship.
The Grinols and Mustard analysis utilizes county level data on FBI Index I

1 Department of Economics and Finance, College of Charleston. Charleston, SC 29424.
I would like to thank— without implication—several people who made helpful comments and suggestions that improved this paper: Jay Albanese, Bill Eadington, David Forrest, Mark Nichols, Don Ross,
Richard Thalheimer, and especially John Jackson and Ben Scafidi. Several referees provided important comments and editorial suggestions.
2 For example, several newspaper reports have highlighted the Grinols and Mustard study (Morin
2006, Vitagliano 2006, Yarbrough 2006). In recent months the study was discussed in articles in Parade Magazine (Flynn 2007) and The Wall Street Journal (Whitehouse 2007). Policy

References: Albanese, J. 1985. The effect of casino gambling on crime. Federal Probation 48: 39-44. Boggs, S.L. 1965. Urban crime patterns. American Sociological Review 30: 899-908. Chesney-Lind M., and I. Lind. 1986. Visitors against victims: Crimes against tourists in Hawaii Curran, D., and F. Scarpitti. 1991. Crime in Atlantic City: Do casinos make a difference? Deviant Behavior 12: 431-449. Fink S.C., A.C. Marco, and J.C. Rork. 2004. Lotto nothing? The budgetary impact of state lotteries Flynn, S. 2007. Is Gambling Good for America? Parade Magazine. 20 May. Link. Fujii, E., and J. Mak. 1980. Tourism and crime: Implications for regional development policy Grinols, E.L. 2004. Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Grinols, E.L. 2007. Social and economic impacts of gambling. In Research and Measurement Issues in Gambling Studies, ed. G. Smith, D. Hodgins, and R. Williams, 515-539. Grinols E.L., and D.B. Mustard. 2001a. Measuring industry externalities: The curious case of casinos and crime Grinols, E.L., and D.B. Mustard. 2001b. Business profitability versus social profitability: Evaluating industries with externalities, the case of casinos. Managerial and Decision Economics 22: 143-162. Grinols, E.L., and D.B. Mustard. 2006. Casinos, crime, and community costs. The Review of Economics and Statistics 88(1): 28-45. Grinols, E.L., and J.S. Rose. 2007. Another voice: Laudatory report misstates conclusions on gambling. Buffalo News. 13 March. Harper, D.W. 2001. Comparing tourists crime victimization. Annals of Tourism Research 28(4): 1053-1056. Heckman, J.J. 1979. Sample selection bias as a specification error. Econometrica 47(1): 364-369. Lott, J.R., and J. Whitley. 2003. Measurement error in county-level UCR data. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 19(2): 185-198. Maltz, M.D. 1999. Bridging gaps in police crime data. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Link. Maltz, M.D., and J. Targonski. 2002. A note on the use of county-level UCR data. Maltz, M.D., and J. Targonski. 2003. Measurement and other errors in county-level UCR data: A reply to Lott and Whitley Miller, W.J., and M.D. Schwartz. 1998. Casino gambling and street crime. Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science 556: 124-137. Morin, R. 2006. Casinos and crime: The luck runs out. Washington Post. 11 May. Morse, E.A., and E.P. Goss. 2007. Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Myrdal, G. 1969. Objectivity in Social Research. New York: Pantheon Books. National Research Council. 1999. Pathological Gambling: A Critical Review. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Nettler, G. 1984. Explaining Crime. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Policy Analytics. 2006. A benefit-cost analysis of Indiana’s riverboat casinos for FY 2005: A report to the Indiana Legislative Council and the Indiana Gaming Commission Stitt B.G., M. Nichols, and D. Giacopassi. 2003. Does the presence of casinos increase crime? An examination of casino and control communities Stokowski, P. 1996. Crime patterns and gaming development in rural Colorado. Journal of Travel Research 34: 63-69. Uniform Crime Reports. 1994. Codebook for UCR 1994 (ICPSR 6669). University of Michigan, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Vitagliano, E. 2006. Casinos and crime: A sour bet. American Family Association Journal (August) Walker, D.M. 2003. Review of Schwer, Thompson, and Nakamuro, “Beyond the limits of recreation: Social costs of gambling in Las Vegas.” Paper prepared for the Walker, D.M. 2007a. The Economics of Casino Gambling. New York, NY: Springer. Walker, D.M. 2007b. Problems with quantifying the social costs and benefits of gambling. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 66(3): 609-645. Walker, D.M., and A.H. Barnett. 1999. The social costs of gambling: An economic perspective Walker, D.M., and J.D. Jackson. 1998. New goods and economic growth: Evidence from legalized gambling Walker, D.M., and J.D. Jackson. 2007. Do casinos cause economic growth? American Journal of Economics and Sociology 66(3): 593-607. Walker, D.M, and J.D. Jackson. 2008b. Katrina and the Gulf States Casino Industry. Whitehouse, M. 2007. Bad Odds. Wall Street Journal. 11 June. Yarbrough, B. 2006. Casinos increase crime. Hesperia Star. 6 June. Link.

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