For many years, the argument from casino opponents in various states across the US has been that casinos create an increase in crime. When gambling was set to be expanded in the state of Massachusetts, those against the idea were out in full force saying that the gambling facilities will create more crime in the host cities. To ensure the safety of the public, the Massachusetts Gambling Commission keeps an eye on criminal activity and has a report completed on a regular basis to review how crime and casino gaming might be connected. A recent report revealed that the Encore Boston Harbor and the MGM Springfield have not resulted in an uptick of criminal activity.
In the report, crime analyst Christopher Bruce stated that both casinos have not been the driving force behind criminal activity. The MGM Springfield was reviewed for 18 months while the Encore was reviewed for eight months.
During that time frame, crime did occur. However, it was not directly connected to the casinos in an alarming way. For the Encore Boston Harbor, the surrounding area has seen an increase and decrease involving certain crimes.
So far, there have been few patterns or trends that directly connect the casinos to the activity. The report also detailed that few trends have been seen at MGM Springfield as well to say that the casino is a source of criminal activity.
The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 in the state requires the Gaming Commission to conduct reviews on a regular basis. The goal is to use the reviews to determine the social and economic impact that gambling has on Massachusetts.
With the reports, the Commission can determine if there is a relationship between gambling and crime. If any type of relationship is discovered, then steps can be taken to ensure that the players at the casinos as well as local residents stay out of harm’s way and criminal activity is deterred.