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Public corruption likely when gambling is legalized Published: July 2, 2013

Next time you're sipping on a free soda pop at your favorite casino, think on this.

Economists Douglas M. Walker and Peter T. Calcagno studied federal corruption conviction rates in states before and after they legalized casino gambling and found that corruption convictions increased after casinos were legalized.

“Interestingly, when we examine the individual states’ trends in per capita corruption convictions, we find the trends tend to be increasing both before and after casinos are legalized and begin operating,” they report in the latest issue of the journal Applied Economics.

Walker and Calcagno say the patterns they detected are consistent with two leading theories to explain increases in corruption in casino states, and they suggest there’s more than just a correlation between the two.

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