Crime Data Shows Casino San Pablo to Have Negative Impacts on Surrounding Communities ; 300 Percent Increase in Emergency Requests and Trespassing Calls After Slots Installed

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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 Andrés 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.


Note: All opinions expressed in the above column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.

'Crime Data Shows Casino San Pablo to Have Negative Impacts on Surrounding Communities ; 300 Percent Increase in Emergency Requests and Trespassing Calls After Slots Installed' have 9 comments

  1. January 13, 2015 @ 12:36 pm wharf rat

    The article fails to mention the manyfold increase in prostitution , drunk driving and other problems associated with gambling in general , calls for service are just the tip of the ice burg . Social costs far outweigh any contribution to the general fund .


  2. Firebug

    January 13, 2015 @ 1:13 pm Firebug

    Actually I would think the dollar cost alone to the general funds to deal with such vices outnumbers the virtues of revenues a casino might provide.


  3. January 14, 2015 @ 11:44 am Charles

    Such fear mongering: The article also fails to provide any meaningful analysis of other factors (crime, demographic, economic, etc.) going on in San Pablo and Richmond around this time that may help “explain” or contribute to these outcomes. For example, maybe the fact that the San Pablo casino provides something like 60% of the City’s $24 million operating budget resulted in more resources for police and fire to track certain things like crime…and therefore more crime was reported. Or maybe the fact that neighboring Richmond, that fear mongered its citizens and City Council into rejecting a casino there, also saw crime soar during the same period – even without a casino. Or maybe it was the effect of the Great Recession beginning to be felt.

    The point is we have to really be careful in drawing conclusions from all these ‘facts’, surveys, and studies. It doesn’t serve the community or citizens to twist the facts and provide unbalanced reporting.


    • Firebug

      January 14, 2015 @ 12:35 pm Firebug

      Fear mongering? Like when Former Chiefy Nichelini and Union Prezzy Matt Mustard said more cops = less crime? We have never seen anything like fear mongering before.


      • January 14, 2015 @ 1:44 pm Charles

        One more point: San Pablo does not even have ‘Las Vegas’ style slot machines…they have electronic bingo machines and certain card games. So much for tying slots to crime as this article purports to do…


  4. January 19, 2015 @ 5:03 pm Interesting

    Up 300%? What? Did the calls for service go from 2 to 6? Big deal!


    • January 19, 2015 @ 5:37 pm Heres your answer

      Before you let your lips flap get the facts. Below are the statistics for San Pablo. And yes the increases are significant for a smaller community.

      Vehicle theft increased from 14 in 2004/2005 to 53 in 2005/2006;
      Disturbance calls increased from 36 in 2004/2005 to 115 in 2005/2006;
      Burglary calls increased from 7 in 2004/2005 to 24 in 2005/2006.


  5. January 20, 2015 @ 7:18 am Bong Hit

    Actually, according to the FBI data presented by, Auto thefts decreased.

    Vehicle theft decreased from 652 in 2004/2005 to 641 in 2005/2006;


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