Police and Crime

As currently proposed, the Milford police department will be hiring nine new police officers and additional dispatchers to handle the impact of the casino.

A large impact of the casino will be a rise in drunk driving. The host town to Foxwoods CT has an average of 75 drunk driving arrests per year. The host town to Mohegan Sun has an average of 150 drunk driving arrests in the last two years. Both towns are much smaller in population than Milford. Milford averages 30 drunk driving arrests per year.

Information derived from City-Data graphs for New London county, home of both Connecticut casinos, shows a 52% higher rate of drunk driving fatalities than the state average, a tragic consequence of serving alcohol all day and night at the casinos.

Crime Studies

Many studies can be subjective, and the methodology can be structured to achieve results that support the author’s position on casino gambling. Regardless, each community with a casino or contemplating the introduction of casino gambling should be aware of these studies and their assumptions and conduct their own analysis rather than relying on results from different communities.[1]

Numerous academics, journalists, and public officials have attempted to reach conclusive results about the relationship between crime and casinos and appear to have fallen short. This is largely because communities can be so different in their demographics as well as values, norms, priorities, histories, traditions, and attitudes concerning gambling. This diversity of opinion is further compounded when one looks at the multitude of variables that could conceivably impact on crime in a community.[2]

It is worth noting the most well known study on casino crime. “Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs” by Grinols and Mustard was first published in 2000. Their methodology was criticized. They subsequently revised their report, and here are their findings:

We examine the relationship between casinos and crime using county-level data for the US between 1977 and 1996. Casinos were non-existent outside Nevada before 1978, and expanded to many other states during our sample period. Most factors that reduce crime occur before or shortly after a casino opens, while those that increase crime, including problem and pathological gambling, occur over time. The results suggest that the effect on crime is low shortly after a casino opens, and grows over time. Roughly 8 percent of property crime in casino counties in 1996 was attributable to casinos and 12.6 percent of violent crime.[3]

Before Foxwoods opened, embezzlement statewide averaged around 45 incidences per year.  Now embezzlement cases for the state of Connecticut average well over 200 per year. [4]

Referring to the town of Norwich, CT: DUI arrests have more than doubled since 1992. Montville and Ledyard have also experienced significant increases. Roughly 20 percent of the motorists in Montville, Ledyard, and North Stonington arrested for DUI acknowledged to police that their last drink was at a casino.[5]

Many towns in Connecticut surrounding the casinos complain of police departments being understaffed.

[1] http://www.stlouisfed.org/community_development/assets/pdf/casinogambling.pdf

[2] http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/eohed/ma-gaming-analysis-final.pdf

[3] http://www.maine.com/editions/2006-05-15/images/20060531000107C.pdf

[4] http://www.dpsdata.ct.gov/dps/ucr/ucr.aspx

[5] http://www.spectrumgaming.com/dl/june_24_2009_spectrum_final_final_report_to_the_state_of_connecticut.pdf (p.13)