Advertisement

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 315–338 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Crime and Electronic Gaming Expenditure: Evidence from Victoria, Australia

  • Sarah A. Wheeler
  • David K. Round
  • John K. Wilson
Original Paper

Abstract

Gambling in Australia is a significant economic activity. Expenditure on its many forms is sizeable and has undergone sustained periods of expansion. At the same time, the structure of the gambling industry has undergone substantial change, with the use of gaming facilities in local hotels and licensed clubs now representing one of the most predominant forms of gambling. Despite this, and the extensive international literature on the relationships between gambling and crime, there have been relatively few studies which examine the local area effects of gaming establishments on crime in Australia. This study uses a unique set of data from the Australian state of Victoria, a region in which local area expansion of gaming networks has been considerable since 1991, to investigate the relationship between gaming machine expenditure and various types of crime in 1996, 2001 and 2006. One particular focus is that of income-generating crime, defined here as theft, fraud, breaking and entering, forgery, false pretences, larceny and robbery. After controlling for a host of statistical issues, our results indicate a consistent positive and significant relationship between gaming and crime rates, especially income-generating crime rates, at the local level.

Keywords

Crime Electronic gaming machines Income-generating crime 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the research funds provided for this project by the Department of Justice in Victoria. One of the conditions of this support was that no discussion of the policy implications of our findings would be made in research outputs. We also appreciate the statistical advice received from Dr Alec Zuo and the helpful comments by three anonymous reviewers and the editors at JQC that have significantly improved this paper.

References

  1. Abbott M, McKenna BG (2005) Gambling and problem gambling among recently sentenced women prisoners in New Zealand. J Gambl Stud 21:559–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abbott M, McKenna BG, Giles LC (2005) Gambling and problem gambling among recently sentenced males in four New Zealand prisons. J Gambl Stud 21:537–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ABS (2002) Statistical geography: volume 2 Census Geographic Areas Australia 2001. Australian Bureau of Statistics, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  4. ABS (2006) Gambling services 2004–05, catalogue 8684.0. Australian Bureau of Statisics, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  5. ABS (2007) Statistical geography: volume 2 Census Geographic Areas Australia 2006. Australian Bureau of Statistics, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  6. Albanese JS (1999) Casino gambling and white collar crime: an examination of the empirical evidence. Prepared for American Gaming Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  7. Anselin L (2006) Spatial econometrics. In: Mills T, Patterson K (eds) Palgrave handbook of econometrics: volume 1, econometric theory. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp 901–969Google Scholar
  8. Australian Institute of Criminology, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2003) Serious fraud in Australia and New Zealand. Res. Publ. Pol. Series, no. 48. Australian Institute of Criminology, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  9. Bellringer M, Abbott M, Coombes R, Brown R, McKenna B, Dyall L, Rossen F (2009) Problem gambling—formative investigation of the links between gambling (including problem gambling) and crime in New Zealand. Report prepared for Ministry of Health, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  10. Bennett T, Holloway K (2005) Disaggregating the relationship between drug misuse and crime. Aust NZ J Criminol 38:102–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blaszczynski A (1994) Criminal offenses in pathological gamblers. Psychiatr Psychol Law 1:129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blaszczynski A, Farrell E (1998) A case series of 44 completed gambling related suicides. J Gambl Stud 14:93–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blaszczynski A, Maccallum F (2003) Pathological gambling and suicidality: an analysis of severity and lethality. Suicide Lift Threat 33:88–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blaszczynski A, McConaghy N (1994) Criminal offenses in gamblers anonymous and hospital-treated pathological gamblers. J Gambl Stud 10:99–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Blaszczynski A, McConaghy N, Frankova A (1989) Crime, antisocial personality and pathological gambling. J Gambl Stud 5:137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bodman P, Maultby C (1997) Crime, punishment and deterrence in Australia: a further empirical investigation. Int J Soc Econ 24:884–901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Borrell J (2008) Understanding problem gambling. The interaction of personal and structural processes. VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  18. Bridges FS, Williamson CB (2004) Legalised gambling and crime in Canada. Psychol Rep 95:747–753Google Scholar
  19. Briscoe S, Donnelly N (2003) Problematic licensed premises for assault in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. Aust NZ J Criminol 36:18–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Carpenter C (2007) Heavy alcohol use and crime: evidence from underage drunk-driving laws. J Law Econ 50:539–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice (2000) The impact of gaming and crime statistics. Report for Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority, Monash University, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  22. Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of Pathological Gambling, National Research Council (1999) Pathological gambling: a critical review. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. Cornwell C, Trumbull W (1994) Estimating the economic model of crime with panel data. Rev Econ Stat 76:360–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Diamond N (2009) Effect of smoking bans on the number of clients utilising problem gambling counselling and problem gambling financial counselling. Report Prepared for Victorian Department of JusticeGoogle Scholar
  25. Doley R (2000) Want to make a bet? Gambling and crime in Australasia. Australas Centre Polic Res Crit Issues Polic Pap 4:1–22Google Scholar
  26. Ehrlich I (1973) Participation in illegitimate activities: a theoretical and empirical investigation. J Polit Econ 81:521–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eltridge F, Del Fabbro P (2006) Evaluation of 2004 legislative amendments to reduce EGMs. Report for Independent Gambling Authority, South Australia, OctoberGoogle Scholar
  28. Entorf H, Spengler H (2000) Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states. Int Rev Law Econ 20:75–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fajnzylber P, Lederman D, Loayza N (1998) Determinants of crime rates in Latin America and the world: an empirical assessment. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Swain-Campbell N (2003) Ethnicity and criminal convictions: results of a 21-year longitudinal study. Aust NZ J Criminol 36:354–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Friedman J, Hakim S, Weinblatt J (1989) Casino gambling as a ‘growth pole’ strategy and its effect on crime. J Region Sci 29:615–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. GAO (2000) Impact of gambling: economic effects more measurable than social effects. U.S. Government Accounting Office/GGD-00-78, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. Gazel R, Rickman D, Thompson G (2001) Casino gambling and crime: a panel study of Wisconsin counties. Manage Decis Econ 22:65–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Glaeser E, Sacerdote B, Scheinkman J (1996) Crime and social interactions. Q J Econ 111:507–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Goudriaan H, Wittebrood K, Nieuwbeerta P (2006) Neighbourhood characteristics and reporting crime: effects of social cohesion, confidence in police effectiveness and socio-economic disadvantage. Br J Criminol 46:719–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Greene WH (2009) Econometric analysis. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  37. Grinols EL, Mustard DB (2006) Casinos, crime, and community costs. Rev Econ Stat 88:28–45Google Scholar
  38. Grinols E, Mustard D, Dilley C (1999) Casinos and crime. US National Gambling Study Commission, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  39. Hare S (2009) A study of gambling in Victoria—problem gambling from a public health perspective. Report prepared for Department of Justice, Victoria, September 2009Google Scholar
  40. Hayashi F (2000) Econometrics. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  41. Jackson AC, Thomas SA, Thomason N, Crisp BR, Smith S, Ho W, Borrell J (1997) Analysis of clients presenting to problem gambling counselling services from July 1 1996 to June 30 1997. Client and services analysis report no.2, Victorian Department of Human Services, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  42. Klick J, Tabarrok A (2005) Using terror alert levels to estimate the effect of police on crime. J Law Econ 48:267–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. KPMG (2000) Report of the 1999 longitudinal community impact study, vols 1, 2. Prepared for Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority, SeptemberGoogle Scholar
  44. Lee D, Holoviak S (2006) Unemployment and crime: an empirical investigation. Appl Econ Lett 13:805–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Livingston C (2006) The changing EGM industry and technology, executive summary. Department of Justice, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  46. Livingstone C (2005) Desire and the consumption of danger: electronic gaming machines and the commodification of interiority. Addict Res Theory 13:523–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Livingstone C, Woolley R, Zazryn T, Shami R (2008) The relevance and role of gaming machine games and game features on the play of problem gamblers. Prepared for Independent Gambling Authority, South AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  48. Lynch J, Cantor D (1992) Ecological and behavioral influences on property victimization at home: implications for opportunity theory. J Res Crime Delinq 29:335–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Margolis J (1997) Casinos and crime: an analysis of the evidence. American Gaming Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  50. Marshall DC, Baker RGV (2001a) Clubs, spades, diamonds and disadvantages: the geography of electronic gaming machines in Melbourne. Aust Geogr Stud 39:17–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Marshall D, Baker R (2001b) Unfair odds? Factors influencing the distribution of electronic gaming machines in Melbourne. Urban Pol Res 19:77–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Marvell T, Moody C (1996) Police levels, crime rates, and specification problems. Criminology 34:609–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Masih A, Masih R (1996) Temporal causality and the dynamics of different categories of crime and their socioeconomic determinants: evidence from Australia. Appl Econ 28:1093–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mast B, Benson B, Rasmussen D (2000) Entrepreneurial police and drug enforcement policy. Pub Choice 104:285–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Miller W, Schwartz M (1998) Casino gambling and street crime. Ann Am Acad Pol Sci 556:124–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Narayan P, Smyth R (2004) Crime rates, male youth unemployment and real income in Australia: evidence from Granger causality tests. Appl Econ 36:2079–2095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Narayan P, Smyth R (2006) Do governments lead or lag in fighting crime? Appl Econ Lett 13:11–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. New Focus Research Pty Ltd (2005) Study of clients of problem gambling services. stage three report: the experiences of problem gamblers, their families and service providers. Prepared for Department of Justice, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  59. Parker K (2001) A move toward specificity: examining urban disadvantage and race-and relationship-specific homicide rates. J Quant Criminol 17:89–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Phipps A (2004) Crime and disorder, and house sales and prices around the casino sites in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Can Geogr 48:403–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Productivity Commission (1999) Australia’s gambling industries, inquiry report, vols 1–3, 10. Productivity Commission, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  62. Productivity Commission (2009) Gambling: draft report. Productivity Commission, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  63. Raphael S, Winter-Ebmer R (2001) Identifying the effect of unemployment on crime. J Law Econ 44:259–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. SACES (2005) Community impacts of electronic gaming machine gambling. Report prepared for the former Victorian Gambling Research Panel, University of Adelaide, AdelaideGoogle Scholar
  65. SACES (2008) Social and economic impact study into gambling in Tasmania 2008. Report prepared for Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance University of Adelaide, AdelaideGoogle Scholar
  66. Sakurai Y, Smith RG (2003) Gambling as a motivation for the commission of financial crime. Aust Inst Criminol Trends Issues 256:1–6Google Scholar
  67. Sampson RJ, Groves BW (1989) Community structure and crime: testing social disorganization theory. Am J Sociol 94:774–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith G, Wynne H (2000) A review of the gambling literature in the economic and policy domains. Report for the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, OctoberGoogle Scholar
  69. Smith G, Wynne H, Hartnagel T (2003) Examining police records to assess gambling impacts: a study of gambling-related crime in the city of Edmonton. Report prepared for the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, March, available at: http://spgfoundation.org/Library/Studies%20and%20White%20Papers/Crime%20and%20Corruption/albertagamblingcrime.pdf, last accessed 9th August 2010
  70. Stitt G, Nichols M, Giacopassi D (2003) Does the presence of casinos increase crime? An examination of casino and control communities. Crime Delinq 49:253–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. The Centre for Gambling Research (2004) 2003 Victorian longitudinal community attitudes survey. Report prepared for the Gambling Research Panel, Australian National UniversityGoogle Scholar
  72. Trumbull WN (1989) Estimations of the economic model of crime using aggregate and individual level data. Southern Econ J 56:423–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Tseloni A, Osborn D, Trickett A, Pease K (2002) Modelling property crime using the British Crime Survey. Br J Criminol 42:109–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (2007) Statistics sourced from: http://www.vcgr.vic.gov.au/CA256F800017E8D4/Statistics/9BAB7B3FF8CEE4EFCA25701C004D7E1C?Open#intNav3, last accessed 12-12-07
  75. Warfield B (2008) Gambling motivated fraud in Australia 1998–2007. Warfield & Associates, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  76. Warren J, Reboussin R, Hazelwood R, Cummings A, Gibbs N, Trumbetta S (1998) Crime scene and distance correlates of serial rape. J Quant Criminol 14:35–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wheeler S, Round D, Sarre R, O’Neil M (2008) The influence of gaming expenditure on crime rates in South Australia: a local area empirical investigation. J Gambl Stud 24:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Withers G (1984) Crime, punishment and deterrence in Australia: an empirical investigation. Econ Rec 60:176–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Yang SM (2010) Assessing the spatial–temporal relationship between disorder and violence. J Quant Criminol 26:139–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Yeoman T, Griffiths M (1996) Adolescent machine gambling and crime. J Adolesc 19:183–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah A. Wheeler
    • 1
  • David K. Round
    • 1
  • John K. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Regulation and Market Analysis, School of CommerceUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations