The following was put out by http://www.StopUrbanCasinos.
RICHMOND, Calif., — A report shows a strong link between the 2005 installation of slot machines at Casino San Pablo and a recent increase in crime and calls for emergency services in surrounding communities.
According to the report released by the East Bay Coalition Against Urban Casinos, there has been a 341 percent increase in calls for emergency dispatches to Casino San Pablo, a 233 percent increase in requests for ambulances to the casino, and a 343 percent increase in trespassing calls in neighborhoods nearby the casino since the installation of slot machines.
“My concern has been that ‘Las Vegas-style’ casinos like Casino San Pablo in urban areas will have drastic negative consequences on our community, and these statistics only confirm that concern,” said Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, whose district includes Casino San Pablo and two other proposed casinos. “Ultimately we don’t need more crime in our at-risk communities. We need real, tangible and sustainable economic investment. Although local community members were not allowed a voice in the decision to install slot machines in their neighborhoods, they are clearly suffering the consequences,” Hancock added.
The report is being released one week after the Richmond City Council agreed to a Municipal Service Agreement for the Sugar Bowl Casino proposed for the troubled neighborhood of North Richmond. According to the agreement, the City of Richmond is to provide services such as police, fire, sewer and water to the casino if the federal government approves the casino at that location.
“It is clear from the increases in emergency calls and crime around Casino San Pablo that urban casinos are not a sustainable way to generate jobs or revenue for a city,” said Richmond Mayor- elect Gayle McLaughlin, a long-time casino critic, who voted against the North Richmond casino service agreement.
“The last thing this community needs is more crime,” said AndrÃ©s Soto, East Bay Coalition Against Urban Casinos Co-chair and nearby neighborhood resident. “This study isn’t only about numbers. I live in the neighborhood and I can tell you that these numbers represent real people. You can put a name and face to each statistic.”
The report analyzed publicly-available emergency dispatch requests and police reports from 2004-2006 obtained from the Richmond Police, the San Pablo Police and the Contra Costa Health Departments. Casino San Pablo first installed 500 Class II slot machines in August of 2005, and has steadily increased the number of machines over the last year. Currently, there are 1,048 slot machines operating at Casino San Pablo.
story/5811461/crime-data- shows-casino-san-pablo-to- have-negative-impacts-on- surrounding-communities-300- percent-increase-in-emergency- requests-and-trespassing
Note: All opinions expressed in the above column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.