A partial test of the impact of a casino on neighborhood crime
Ninety-six months of crime incident data were examined to determine the extent to which crime counts changed within the Philadelphia neighborhood of Fishtown after the opening of a new casino. Count modeling regression results indicate that the operation of the casino had no significant effect on violent street felonies, vehicle crime, drug crime or residential burglary in the surrounding community. Weighted displacement quotient analyses suggest that the operation of the casino may be associated with an increase in vehicle crime in the area surrounding the casino neighborhood, indicative of crime displacement. Drug and residential burglary offenses in the area surrounding the casino neighborhood decreased after the casino opened, suggestive of a diffusion of benefits possibly tied to a change in local police patrols. Net of unexamined police patrol changes and casino opening simultaneity effects, the current study is unable to identify a neighborhood level effect of the casino on crime. Additional research is necessary to examine localized effects of casinos on various offenses.