A group of South Floridians in the No Casinos organization, which is opposed to the expansion of gambling in Florida, released the results of a study that addresses the link between crime rates and large casinos at a news conference, according to CBS Miami.

The study shows that serious crime rates will jump in South Florida if the Florida legislature authorizes the building and operation of full-scale casinos. More specifically, burglary, robbery, car theft, prostitution, rape, and even political payoffs will increase. The study, which was conducted by former Florida state revenue and policy analysts, predicts that crime will increase by eight to 12 percent within the first few years of full-fledged casinos opening. This, in turn, would end up costing tax payers more money as gambling-related offenders enter the criminal justice system.

Supporters of the gambling expansion claim that the study is flawed. The gaming industry has been present for years without any significant or documented increase in crime rates albeit with a smaller-scale presence. The casino bill has cleared the Florida Senate committee and will face a House committee vote later on Friday. It will then move to the full legislature.

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