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Editorial: Casino-crime link is well established

Recently the New Hampshire Troopers’ and Police associations broke with their colleagues in the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police and the attorney general’s office and threw their support behind Gov. Maggie Hassan’s proposal to open a casino on the Massachusetts border. Their testimony suggests that they consider the casino plan a jobs bill for law enforcement officers: Troopers’ Association President Seth Cooper said specifically that casino revenue would help finance 15 more trooper positions in the state budget.

The state probably does need more troopers. But opening a casino, which evidence suggests would soon provide plenty more for troopers and police officers to do, is not the way to fund the increase.

Cooper also made the remarkable claim that a casino would create no more crime than is caused when a new shopping mall draws a large number of people to an area. While studies can be found that suggest that a casino has a limited effect on an area’s crime rate, that was not the conclusion of the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission, which estimated that opening a casino at Rockingham Park would result in an additional 1,200 serious crimes per year in Salem and surrounding communities. Nor is Cooper’s contention backed up by the most comprehensive analysis of the casino-crime relationship yet undertaken, a 19-year study of FBI statistics published in 2006 in The Review of Economics and Statistics.

That study found that while crime can actually diminish for a few years after the opening of a casino, in just a few years it increases significantly as the crime and social ills that come with problem gambling increase. The study concluded that “overall, 8.6 percent of property crime and 12.6 percent of violent crime in counties with a casino was due to the presence of the casino.”

Lawmakers debating bills to permit a casino will hear a lot of claims and statistics before a final vote is taken. They should vet the claims carefully. The casino-crime link is well established.

Legacy Comments3

Editorial obviously written by someone who has absolutely no idea what he or she is talking about. Nashua and Manchester NH crime rate is higher than Lydiard Connecticut. It is also higher than Biloxi, Miss. Can you explain that? Both locations have large Casinos and gorgeous quiet neighborhoods. My wife of 50 years and I currently live in a State which has numerous Gaming Casinos and we enjoy the extra financial support they provide our State while also providing us with an entertainment rendezvous for small gaming, fine dining and entertainment. NH, on the other hand would rather promote booze outlets on their major highways, lottery tickets, bingo parlors, gay marriage and aboritons! Ergo: The nickname "Hypocrites Of New England"......

In my book, forcing taxpayers in low per capita income Claremont to pay 6 times the combined education tax rate of high per capita income New Castle is a wealthy Republican-crime link that is well established. And I think that crime is linked to the comparison of crime rates in Claremont vs. New Castle: "In 2010 ..... the city property crime rate in Claremont was higher than the property crime rate in New Hampshire by 54.87%." "New Castle, NH, property crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 10, is 1. Claremont, NH, property crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 10, is 4." The Wentworth By The Sea might actually be the best place for the casino.

Hilarious. More lies and half truths from one of the most biased newspapers in the country. You forgot "Quality of Life!!!!" and "Won't someone think of the children????" All someone has to do is travel down to Foxwoods to see what a cesspool of organized crime that part of Connecticut has become, or go up to the new casino in Oxford, Maine if you can dodge the gun toting mafioso. Try to come up with better editorials rather than something knocked off in 10 minutes. I am pro casino and I can come up with better arguments against them than this. These are the same people that would rather have Rockingham be a crumbling, disgusting, urine-smelling cesspool than create jobs and taxes the state desperately needs. Don't be ascared, people. The casinos are coming and I promise you will survive the apocalypse.

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