Ontario Police Chiefs say no link between gaming facilities and increases in crime

According to new video testimonials from a number of OntarioPolice Chiefs, there has been no evidence that a casino’s presence increases crime over the two decades that casino gaming has been available in Ontario. “We have an excellent relationship with the OLG Slots at Dresden Raceway,” said Dennis Poole, Chief of Police for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. “Certainly from a policing perspective it has not been an issue and the municipality has benefited from the slots being in Dresden. We average about 20 calls per year to that facility, but that is no more than the average mall or average large department store in our community.” The video clips include a statement by Brantford Police Chief, Jeff Kellner. Prior to the opening of OLG Casino Brantford in 1999, Kellner recalls concerns were common that a gaming facility would increase the local crime rate, but notes that those concerns never materialized. “We were concerned as a police service,” said Kellner. “But the overall impact, as it relates to crime, has been very insignificant in our community.” This has also been the experience of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who provide policing services inside many gaming facilities across the province. “We have not seen an increase in crime,” said OPP Chief Superintendent, Fred Burtucca. “In fact, the facilities are very well run. We have a very close relationship with the security and surveillance people located at the site and we’re able to respond immediately to any situation that happens.”