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Gaming Guru

 

Detroit's Crime Rate Declines

27 November 2002

It is a common misconception. It rolls off the tongues of all the anti-gaming advocates effortlessly when they talk about the subject of casino gambling. If you bring casino gambling to a community, you will, it is observed, see an increase in crime. Six years ago as voters were considering whether to authorize the three Detroit casinos, it was a constant theme of the opponents of the statewide referendum. I wonder what they have to say now?

A few weeks ago, the FBI finally released last year's crime statistics for the City of Detroit. Despite a nationwide increase in crime of 2.1 percent, the FBI reported that Detroit's crime rate declined a whopping 5 percent. According to the report, there were decreases in all major crime categories including:

Homicides (from 396 to 395)

Rapes (from 811 to 652)

Robberies (from 7,868 to 7,096)

Larcenies (from 31,929 to 29,613)

Motor Vehicle Thefts (from 25,890 to 24,537)

As noted in my November 10, 1999 column, "More on the Casino-Crime Link," the empirical evidence derived from scientific studies suggests that there is no major correlation between the introduction of casino gambling to a community and crime. In fact, in most of the major new jurisdictions (Biloxi, Mississippi; St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Joseph, Missouri; Alton and Peoria, Illinois; and Sioux City, Iowa) there has actually been a statistical decline in crime with the introduction of casino gambling.

It is a simple notion. "If you give a man a fish you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime." With casinos, communities get jobs. With casinos, communities get educational training by such organizations as the Casino Management Association. With casinos, the overall economy improves. Casinos bring opportunity. Opportunity for those who are willing to work to succeed. Opportunity brings hope. Hope triggers the desire to be a better person and to strive to succeed. Opportunity and hope are now, and always have been, the only real weapons in the fight against crime.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com