Civic activists say study links casinos to crime

Could casinos bring crime wave to Miami-Dade?

MIAMI - Three prominent Miami civic activists released a research study Wednesday alleging that crime associated with two mega-casinos here would cause the Miami-Dade crime rate to increase by 8 to 12 percent.

"Casinos and Florida:  Crime and Prison Costs" was commissioned by No Casinos, Inc., a statewide anti-casino group.  It was prepared by two Tallahassee-based legislative researchers, Richard Herring and David Beggs.

"Wherever these casinos are they have brought nothing but heartache and misery to the communities that host them," said Miami auto magnate Norman Braman.  He was joined at the news conference at Miami-Dade College by former lawmaker Dan Gelber and former U.S. Attorney in Miami Roberto Martinez.

"My biggest concern, what bothers me most," said Martinez, "is this huge infusion of cash into the political system by these mega-groups."

  The general counsel for Resorts World Miami, part of the Genting Group, sharply criticized the three anti-casino activists for using "scare tactics" and called their news conference a "publicity stunt."  Jessica Hoppe, general counsel of Resorts World Miami, disputed the projected crime statistics.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.