The reliability and validity of research findings depends on the methodologies that the researchers employ in their study. Many research methodologies have come up to help researchers in different fields to come up with findings and conclusions to given challenges. Conducting a research to establish a relationship between casinos and crime is a great undertaking as it involves a number of complicated variables. Furthermore, a research of this magnitude requires that researchers have resources and time needed to collect the relevant data from different places that are sparsely located. The study done by Stitt B. Grant, Mark Nichols, and David Giacopassi used several variables collected from a number of jurisdictions where casinos were operating. This was done after an intensive review of the existing literature on the relationship between casinos and crime incidences. Comparison and analysis of the data collected enabled the researchers to make conclusions that they hoped would assist in making decisions by the concerned parties. The researchers used effective sampling strategies leading to a reliable conclusion.
The research was done intensively by first looking at the existing literature on the relationship between casino and crime rate in a community. The researchers also presented views from both sides by exhaustively analyzing studies that supported the notion that casinos promoted criminal activities in the area and those that indicated the contrary. Moreover, the researchers used a collective sample of data from cities both under study and those used as control experiments. The variables that they used were collected from the entire population of jurisdictions that have been investigated. Arguably, the researchers of this study used a large sample after carrying out an intensive literature review and thus did have a foundation on what they were investigating and the possible conclusions they were likely going to make after the study.
Since the research was aimed at making certain conclusions as has been determined by the objectives the researchers set, the researchers used a purposive sampling technique and therefore narrowed down to jurisdictions that had casinos. Definitely, the researchers determined that presence of casinos in certain areas would have an impact on the crime rate, thus a selection of samples was based on the assumption that the area did have active casinos that attracted tourists and residents in large numbers. This judgmental approach to sample selection enabled the researchers to narrow down on the areas that were of importance to their research. The researchers did not use probability sample selection since the selected samples were only assumed to have been affected in one way or the other by the presence of casinos.
Having conducted an extensive literature review on their topic of study the researchers seemed to have believed that general approach to selection of the sample would definitely lead them into an acceptable conclusion on the linkage between casinos and crime in communities. The researchers thus believed that their selected sample could adequately represent the general population from which it was drawn. It is also clear to me that the selected sample adequately represented the population of jurisdictions that were either influenced by the presence of casinos or not. As such, findings and conclusions of the study represent the general view that each region where a casino is built is affected differently in terms of crime rates.
However, the reference to the causal factors in escalation or reduction in the crime rates over a given period does not include all causative factors that can contribute to the change in the crime rates. Consequently, the causal assertions for crime like increase in the number of nonresident people in a town that have built a casino also needed to be taken into consideration. This is because it was implied in the literature review that a certain increase in population would most likely provide an enabling environment for the incidences of crime to be committed.
Furthermore, the researchers used comparisons and examples from both the literature review and their own analysis to bring out how certain factors could contribute to the occurrence of crimes other than the casinos. Nevertheless, the causal factors identified were related to the starting of casinos in a given area. For instance, an increase in the number of tourists in a given town could on its own cause an increase in criminal activities. But the drooping tourists are ultimately attracted by casino activities. This means that the presence of casino in a region has the capacity to attract causal factors that contribute to the increase in the crime rate.
Moreover, the researchers took necessary measures to control the variables that were under investigation, including the estimating number of tourists’ arrivals in areas where the data were lacking. Furthermore, they also adjusted this number in accordance with the existing information where determination of the effects of this number of nonresidents was used to estimate effect this was going to have on the crime rates in the communities that were under study. In addition, the researchers employed sound mathematical tools to calculate population of the study that was under risk by adding the average monthly tourists to the population of residents. Similarly, the use of economic effects of tourists on the towns that were under study also provided more information on the causal of assumed linkage between casinos and the crime rate in communities.
Another important consideration was the control samples that provided information on the rate of crime occurrence over a period that the other towns were under investigation. The number of tourists’ arrival per town residents as a variable was controlled to eliminate the possibilities of spurious relationships where the city population was submerged by the number of visitors that arrived in that city when a casino was built.
Though the research had its strengths, I strongly believe that the researchers left a number of important variables that needed to be measured and controlled. For instance, each state has got its own regulations and policies with regard to the crimes which are both victimless and victim centered. As such, there was a need to establish control of the towns that had implemented policing strategies in the wake of building a casino in the area. Policies, such as state gaming regulations and those of the state law enforcement, would definitely vary from one state to the other and therefore would impact on the overall cases of crime in each state. My argument is that since it was generally accepted that casinos had a direct linkage to the cases of crime in the community, the law enforcers might have prepared themselves to launch enhanced operations in areas where crime rate did not increase with introduction of casino. The same interpretation would suggest that where the crime rate increased with introduction of casinos, law enforcers relaxed and did not put in place any mechanisms to prevent the occurrence of crimes, given that a casino had been introduced in their area.
In conclusion, the internal findings in the research do not take a stand as to whether casinos do lead to the increase in crime rates or not. The sampling strategies that the researchers used did not enable them to make conclusions as to whether casinos cause increase in crime or not. The reason behind this undecided conclusion might be that the researchers did not include all the relevant control variables to ensure that the analysis of crime data from each town under study inculcated the relevant measures to control the results of the research.