The Relationship between Gambling and Criminal Behaviors

Posted on in Criminal Law

Arlington Heights theft crimes defense lawyer, criminal behavior, gambling, gambling addiction, theft crimes, selling stolen property, common criminal offenses, addictionThe notion of gambling and crime going hand in hand is age old, and although many convey gambling with images of mobsters from the 1920’s or illegal moonshine distilleries, this is not the reality of the matter in today’s world.

Today, gambling is an addiction on an epidemic scale. It is no different than any other addiction, and the need to satisfy a craving can make a person resort to drastic measures when desperate. In many cases, this desperation can result in serious criminal charges carrying jail sentences and steep fines.

Studies have shown that around half of all gamblers also commit crimes of varying degrees.

This statistic, although alarming, is not without substantiation. Over two-thirds of gambling addicts who do commit crimes have admitted to doing so only as a direct result of their habit. In addition, 63 percent of Gambler’s Anonymous members surveyed stated that they had written bad checks, and over 30 percent admitted to stealing from the workplace.

It has been estimated that around $1.3 billion in insurance fraud cases are a result of gambling addictions alone.

Gambling addictions know no borders or boundaries. However, the financial incentives are the one common denominator. The following is a list of common criminal offenses for gambling addicts:

  • Fraud;
  • Forgery;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Larceny;
  • Receiving or selling stolen property; and
  • Selling narcotics.

This is not the only indication that criminal behavior and gambling are connected, however. In the nine years following the casinos being built in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the crime rate of the entire surrounding area increased by 110 percent. Studies have also indicated that communities surrounding casinos have an increased crime rate of up to 84 percent.

A gambling addiction can cause criminal behavior in any person, and the trends have shown this to be true time and time again. If you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime due to a gambling problem, or for any other reason, contact an aggressive Arlington Heights theft crimes defense lawyer for professional assistance in all criminal law matters.