Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
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 U.S. News & World Report -- Crime and Casinos

January 15, 1996 U.S. News & World Report

Does gambling lead to crime? A U.S. News computer analysis shows that towns with casinos have experienced an upsurge in crime at the same time it was dropping in the nation as a whole. They recorded a 5.8 percent jump in crime rates in 1994, while crime around the country fell 2 percent. The 31 places that got new casinos just the year before saw their crime jump the most: 7.7%. (The crime rate in small cities and towns, with populations similar to those that have embraced casinos, rose 1 percent in the same period.)" p. 60.

"Still, big money attracts opportunistic criminals. Some Los Angeles street gang members have relocated to Las Vegas. And organized crime groups have managed to infiltrate many ancillary businesses such as maintaining the machines or providing other services, says a senior FBI official who specializes in mob matters. He says they often use labor unions to do so. Other criminals get involved in places where regulations are weak. In New Orleans, FBI agents bugged an Italian restaurant to eavesdrop on the video-poker- machine-skimming plans of organized-crime bosses with nicknames like Noogie and Fat Frank. The result was 24 convictions against members of the Marcello, Gambino and Genovese crime families. The FBI is also investigating allegations that Louisiana state legislators took multimillion-dollar payoffs to approve an expansion of video poker." p. 61.