White collar crimes and casino gambling: Looking for empirical links to forgery, embezzlement, and fraud

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This study investigates the alleged link between casino gambling and arrests for the commission of the “white collar” crimes of forgery, fraud, and embezzlement. The rapid expansion of casino gaming venues in recent years has been said to have increased the incidence of white collar crimes by casino customers who get themselves in financial trouble by overspending at casinos (given the median age of 47 for casino patrons and that 41% hold white collar jobs). This study investigates this question by using several kinds of data to examine arrest and offender trends, using a follow-up period of up to 10 years to assess long-term impacts. The results indicate that, comparing pre- and post-casino average annual arrests for embezzlement, forgery, and fraud, trends show a general decrease in arrests in casino jurisdictions, although embezzlement arrests rose in Connecticut and in nationwide statistics. An assessment of the reasons offered from interviews with people convicted of embezzlement and fraud are presented to examine the extent to which gambling is a causal factor.

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