En Canadá no hay relación directa entre el crimen y los juegos de azar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 14 1999 – Calgary, Alberta: Canada West Foundation released today another study under its Gambling in Canada project. The study, entitled Gambling and Crime in Western Canada: Exploring Myth and Reality (Main Report), was authored by two of Canada’s leading experts on gambling issues, Drs. Garry Smith and Harold Wynne. The report presents a first of its kind examination of the relationship between gambling and crime in Canada. Based on interviews with law enforcement, regulatory and judicial personnel dealing with gambling crime, the authors set out to examine the extent to which illegal gambling, gambling-related crime, and crimes by problem gamblers impact on our communities.
CWF president Roger Gibbins notes, «Crime is one of the many yet-to-be quantified social costs associated with the expansion of gambling. This study, although preliminary in nature, significantly increases our understanding about the often misunderstood relationship between gambling and crime.»
The scope of the study includes:
• an examination of the statutes and literature on gambling and crime;
• an analysis of print media coverage of gambling and crimes;
• illegal gambling;
• crimes associated with legal gambling;
crimes perpetrated by problem gamblers;
• law enforcement responses to gambling crimes;
• the impact of gambling-related crime on the court system.
Main findings of the report suggest that:
• illegal gambling is not pervasive throughout western Canada. It is, however, extensive in the four largest cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg), less so in medium-sized cities, and a minor concern in rural areas.
• there is no evidence that organized crime has infiltrated legal gambling operations in western Canada. The legal gambling industry has not been contaminated by organized crime because it is, essentially, a publicly owned, operated and regulated enterprise.
• the dearth of corruption associated with western Canadian legal gambling operations is a result of provincial gaming licensing and regulatory procedures being effectively implemented, monitored, and enforced.
• gambling venues, notably casinos and racetracks, act as magnets for certain types of crime. For instance, it is well known to police that casinos and racetracks are preferred locations for laundering the proceeds of crime.
• the types of crimes committed by problem gamblers include theft, forgery, embezzlement, fraud, credit card scams, domestic violence, break and enters, and suicide. The consensus of both police officials and gaming regulators is that legal gambling formats are well regulated, but that illegal gambling enforcement is severely deficient.
The study concludes with recommendations to limit the harm caused by gambling-related crime and to increase our knowledge of this social issue. The recommendations include:
• the development of an inter-provincial task force of municipal police, RCMP, and gaming regulators to sort out the roles and responsibilities of each organization and to develop a co-operative approach to policing illegal and legal games.
• amending the criminal code to allow single event sports betting, thereby decriminalizing this popular and less harmful activity.
• the development of a provincial regulatory audit mechanism to review gambling industry contracts to ensure that gambling’s expansion occurs free of corruption.
• encouraging the provincial governments to make their own games more consumer friendly (e.g., better odds) and to devote more time to policing the illegal games.
• requiring enforcement agencies to gathering evidence on the extent of gambling related crime by beginning to record crimes as gambling-related when it is clearly a factor in the investigation.
• creating programs to educating citizens about the need to gamble responsibly in order to reduce the crimes perpetrated by problem gamblers.

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