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THE CRIME CONNECTION

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall  know them" - Matthew 7: 20

Notorious robbers John Dilinger and Pretty Boy Floyd once played a slot machine in a mid-western hangout. As Dilinger dropped in coins, he commented, "You sure don't need no gun to rob somebody if you've got one of these things for him to play." "Yep," replied Floyd who was pulling the handle, "And, this bandit only has one arm."

Wherever gambling goes, crime comes, because people need more money to gamble. They steal, default on debts, and go on the public dole (welfare). 

Consider:

The American Insurance Institute

* Estimates that40% of all white collar crime is gambling related.

* Las Vegas has one of the nation's highest crime rates. The FBI found that criminals there committed five times as many violent crimes as police were able to solve-the worst ratio of any large U.S. city.

* Nevada has the nation's highest incarceration rate, and 40% of felons jailed there are from out-of-state. Nevada also has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol (by the way, casinos give away alcohol because drunk people gamble more).

* When gambling was introduced in Gulfport, Mississippi, robberies increased by 218%; vehicle theft went up 166%; arson, 150%; and assaults, 66%.

*After gambling is legalized, social-welfare budgets must increase by 100% to 550% to maintain the same quality of life as before.

* Gambling debts in New Jersey exceed $514 million a year. This pushes compulsive gamblers into forgery, theft, embezzlement, drug dealing, and property crimes. A congressman found that insurance fraud directly attributable to gambling alone exceeds $1.3 billion per year.

* Because of crime associated with casino gambling, New Jersey spends nearly $60 million a year to police and monitor Atlantic City's casinos. The year after gambling was legalized, Atlantic City's annual police budget had to be doubled, while population declined 20%. In three years, Atlantic City went from 50th in the nation in per capita crime to first. Between 1977 and 1990, crime in that city rose 230%.

* Since Atlantic City legalized gambling, its population shrunk 20%, unemployment increased, crimes rose 380%, the police force doubled, half of the 2,100 businesses closed, and four of six consecutive mayors were indicted for corruption (three served jail terms).

John Kindt, Ph.D., professor of commerce and legal policy at the University of Illinois, contends that for every revenue dollar generated by gambling, taxpayers must pay out at least three dollars in increased criminal justice costs, social welfare expenses, high regulatory costs, and increased infrastructure expenditures. States who plan to get rich from lotteries and other gambling end up putting money into a bag with holes (Hag. 1:6).