American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 117–131 | Cite as

Assessing the impact of casino gambling on crime in Mississippi

  • David Giacopassi
  • B. Grant Stitt


The introduction of legalized gambling into a community has generated a great deal of hubris regarding concomitant criminality. While Las Vegas has long been synonymous with organized crime, the recent focus has been on the connection between traditional crime and legalized gambling. The conventional wisdom among opponents of this new source of revenue is that casinos attract many undesirables to the community, thereby increasing crime and social disorganization. Routine activities theory would suggest that with increased numbers of tourists, more opportunities for crime will exist. To test this proposition, the frequency of crime before and after the introduction of legalized gambling in Biloxi, Mississippi was examined. Larcey-theft and motor vehicle theft were the only categories of crime to show statistically significant change. Robbery and aggravated assault increased, while murder and rape declined, although the change was not statistically significant for any category of violent crime.


Organize Crime Crime Rate Violent Crime Property Crime Atlantic City 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abt, V., J. Smith & E. Christiansen. (1985).The Business of Risk. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  2. Albanese, J. (1985). “The Effect of Casino Gambling On Crime.”Federal Probation, 48:39–44.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, D. (1960).Crime as an American way of life. The End of Ideology. NY: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  4. Buck, A., S. Hakim & U. Spiegel. (1991). “Casinos, Crime, and Real Estate Values: Do They Relate?”Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 28:288–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bureau of the Census. (1992).1990 Census of Population Characteristics: Mississippi. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, L.E. & M. Felson. (1979). “Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activities Approach.”American Sociological Review, 44:588–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling. (1976).Gambling in America. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  8. Curran, D. & F. Scarpitti. (1991). “Crime in Atlantic City: Do Casinos Make a Difference?”Deviant Behavior, 12:431–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunlap, C. & B. Laxalt. (1981). “Crime Rates and Legalized Gaming: The Washoe County Experience. Paper presented at the Fifth National Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking, Reno, NV.Google Scholar
  10. Hakim, S. & A. Buck. (1989). “Do Casinos Enhance Crime?”Journal of Criminal Justice, 17:409–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hakim, S. & J. Friedman. (1987). “Casinos and Crime: Atlantic City’s Experience.”Casino Gaming Magazine, 9–13.Google Scholar
  12. Jenkins, P. & G. W. Potter. (1987). “The Politics and Mythology of Organized Crime: A Philadelphia Case-Study.”Journal of Criminal Justice, 15:473–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kennedy, R.F. (1967). “The Baleful Influence of Gambling.” In R. Herman (ed.),Gambling (pp. 169–177). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  14. King, R. (1969).Gambling and Organized Crime. Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kitsuse, J.I. & A.V. Cicourel. (1963). “A Note on the Use of Official Statistics.”Social Problems, 11:131–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kleinfield, N. (1993, August 29). “Legal Gambling Faces Higher Odds.”New York Times, p. E3.Google Scholar
  17. Murtagh, J.M. (1967). “Gambling and Police Corruption.” In R. Herman (ed.),Gambling (pp. 233–243). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  18. New York State. (1981).Report of Attorney General Robert Abrams in Opposition to Legalized Casino Gambling in New York State. Albany, NY: NY Department of Law.Google Scholar
  19. Peak, K. (1993).Policing America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Pennsylvania Crime Commission. (1980).A Decade of Organized Crime. St. David’s PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  21. Percius, Charles (1823). Rouge et Noir, the Academicians of 1823. Cited inGambling in America, Staff and Consultant Papers, Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling, 1976, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  22. Popkin, J. & K. Hetter. (1994, March 14). “America’s Gambling Craze.”U. S. News & World Report, pp. 42–46.Google Scholar
  23. Potter, G.W. (1989). “The Retail Pornography Industry and the Organization of Vice.”Deviant Behavior, 10:233–251.Google Scholar
  24. Roncek, D. & P.A. Maier. (1991). “Bars, Blocks and Crimes Revisited: Linking the Theory of Routine Activities to the Empiricism of ‘Hot Spots.’”Criminology, 29:725–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Savitz, L. D. (1978). “Official Police Statistics and Their Limitations.” In L.D. Savitz & N. Johnson (eds.),Crime In Society (pp. 69–81). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  26. Sherman, L., P. Gartin & M. Buerger. (1988). “Hot Spots of Predatory Crime: Routine Activities and the Criminology of Place.”Criminology, 27:27–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Skogan, W. (1974). “The Validity of Official Crime Statistics: An Empirical Investigation.”Social Science Quarterly, 55:25–38.Google Scholar
  28. Skolnick, J. (1983). “Gambling.”Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice. New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  29. Sternlieb, G. & J. Hughes. (1983).The Atlantic City Gamble: A Twentieth Century Fund Report. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sun Herald. (1993, August 1). “A Year with Casinos.” p. 1,14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Giacopassi
    • 1
  • B. Grant Stitt
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of MemphisUSA
  2. 2.University of NevadaReno

Personalised recommendations