Attitudes of Community Leaders in New Casino Jurisdictions Regarding Casino Gambling's Effects on Crime and Quality of Life
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Interviews were conducted with 128 key individuals in seven communities that are new casino jurisdictions. The individuals interviewed are community leaders (mayors, members of the city council, leading members of the business community) or work in areas (banking, law enforcement, social services) which would provide insight into the positive and negative effects that casinos have on communities. A series of core questions were asked of all 128 respondents followed by additional questions designed to elicit specific information based on the individual's position. A content analysis was conducted comparing responses both within and between communities by leadership position. Findings indicate that a clear majority (59%) of those interviewed are in favor of the casino in the community, believe the casino enhances the quality of life in the community (65%), and believe that the casino has a positive effect on the economy (77%). Although a majority of the community leaders interviewed view the impact of casinos favorably, responses vary both by community and by position within the community. Finally, since ths group of community leaders was not selected randomly, it is possible that unintended interview bias shifted these results in a positive direction.
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