(Tallahassee) – A report recently published by the Pew Research Center proves what many consider obvious – that one of the many nasty side effects of legalizing casinos is a significant increase in public corruption. “Interestingly, when we examine the individual states’ trends in per capita corruption convictions, we find the trends tend to be increasing both before and after casinos are legalized and begin operating,” Economists Douglas M. Walker and Peter T. Calcagno report in the latest issue of the journal Applied Economics.
“This is yet another reason legislators should shut the door on casino legalizers,” said No Casinos President John Sowinski. “Florida politicians should resist the corrupting influence of gambling interests seeking to legalize more gambling in our state.”
The tie between official corruption and the casino gambling industry is nothing new in the Sunshine State. During efforts in the 1990s to legalize casinos, one casino gambling company attempting to legalize casinos in Florida paid Representative Bo Johnson, then the sitting Speaker of the Florida House, $250,000. Johnson did not disclose or pay taxes on this money, which landed him in federal prison.
Even today, Las Vegas Sands, which is a major player in the efforts to legalize gambling in Florida, is currently under Federal investigation to determine if the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“This study proves what most people suspect, a vote for casinos is a vote for more public corruption in our state,” said Sowinski.