Florida sheriffs oppose casino bill warn of ‘increase in crime’

The Florida Sheriff’s Association, a long-time opponent of expanded gambling, today officially announced its opposition to the proposal to bring destination resort casinos to Miami Dade and Broward.

Florida sheriffs oppose casino bill warn of ‘increase in crime’

Here’s its statement:

December 16, 2011, TALLAHASSEE – Today, The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) announces its opposition to the expansion of all forms of gambling in our state, and in particular opposes casino-style gambling due to the proven likelihood of increased criminal activity, higher demands on law enforcement resources and detrimental impacts on society.

      National studies have demonstrated that casino-style gambling creates additional crime.  The increase in crime is often attributed to the influx of tourists and the common practice of promoting free alcohol or drink specials to gamblers. In addition, the high wages and winnings at stake attract criminals committing burglary, larceny, and auto thefts – all of which generally are higher around casino areas. In some cases these crimes are being committed by compulsive gamblers who need to feed their addiction.  Criminals prey on tourists and other individuals who have won large amounts of cash.

   “The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) stands behind Attorney General Pam Bondi in her opposition to the expansion of gambling in our state,” said FSA President and Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson. “Study after study has confirmed the link between casino gambling and increased crime. While casinos may spur short-term economic gain, the spin-off societal costs from increased criminal victimization and gambling addiction are just too high a price to pay. Expanding casino gambling is a bad deal for Florida, and we applaud our Attorney General for taking a strong stand against any further proliferation of gambling in Florida.”

For full statement, click here.