ABSTRACT Casinos are often considered as a “growth pole” strategy to revitalize dilapidated regions. However, voters often reject casinos due to their perceived adverse impact on crime.
Using a quasi-experimental design we analyze the impact of the casinos on crime spillover from Atlantic City to other localities in the region. We found that the level of crime in localities adjacent to Atlantic City and along the major nontoll routes to Philadelphia and New York City up to approximately 30 miles from Atlantic City rose significantly following the introduction of casinos. Crime levels are higher than they would have been in the absence of casinos.