—Jan. 31—Elk Grove Police Chief Bryan Noblett
has told a community meeting that his department conducted “a pretty extensive study” of other cities and found no “significant uptick” in crime associated with nearby casinos.
His comments debunk wildly false claims made in recent ads by outside gaming interests that fear competition from the Wilton Rancheria resort and casino project in Elk Grove.
Chief Noblett’s remarks were videotaped and posted on elkgrovelagunanews.com and on the news site’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/elkgrovelagunaforums/videos/10154900827810350/
Responding to a question about crime and the resort and casino project, the Chief said his department “did a pretty extensive study,” assigning a detective to contact “other locations where casinos had developed.”
“What we found from our partners at other agencies…is they honestly haven’t seen a significant uptick in crime,” Chief Noblett said.
“At one particular location there was a casino kind of adjacent or contiguous to a mall property, so we actually had a good comparison,” he added, referring to the resort and casino location next to the planned Outlet Collection mall.
The Chief said that the City’s MOU with Wilton Rancheria “would position us to address” any issues related to crime that might arise.
Informed of the Chief’s remarks, Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond Hitchcock said:
“Opponents funded by dark money from outside gaming interests have been spreading lies and fear with their phony ads. Now they’ve been caught lying. They don’t want the citizens of Elk Grove to know the truth: that the resort and casino will create thousands of construction and fulltime jobs and the Tribe will pay approximately $10 million a year for services to Elk Grove and Sacramento County, including $1.5 million a year for police and well over $1 million a year for schools and roads.”
Numerous national studies support Chief Noblett’s findings:
- An independent study of 100 communities across the United States with Indian casinos found:
- No evidence of harmful impact
- Crime rates actually fall when Indian casinos are introduced into non-Indian communities.
- Motor vehicle theft fell by 49% and robberies by 39%.
- A recent yearlong study in Massachusetts found no significant link between the presence of a casino and certain crime rates.
- And a study by Drexel University and Temple University criminologists examined 96 months of crime data in Philadelphia after a casino opened and found “no evidence” of “a significantly detrimental effect on the immediate neighborhood in terms of violent street felonies, vehicle crime, residential burglary or drug crimes.”
About Wilton Rancheria
Wilton Rancheria is the only federally recognized tribe in Sacramento County. In November 2011, the Tribe adopted its modern Constitution, and since that time, tribal leadership has worked to improve the lives of its members and positively serve the community from its offices in Elk Grove.
Townsend Calkin Tapio Public Affairs