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Casinos and Economic Crime:The Paradox of Enforcement

April 13, 2017 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm UTC+8


Notwithstanding the results of some empirical studies, casinos and gambling are widely considered to be breeding grounds for a range of deviant behavior and criminal offenses. The casino industry in Macau, by far the largest in the world, offers a unique opportunity to examine issues of economic crime. Using the literature on white-collar crime from crim- inology, and casino regulation from sociology, this presentation highlights major issues regarding the methods of control of the gambling industry and the paradoxes of enforce- ment that face the policing of white-collar and corporate crimes. The paradox arises from the central sociological insight by Skolnick (1978) that two positions need to be recon- ciled in the regulation of the casino industry. The first is that the criminal law be employed to enjoin conduct that some find pleasurable and some think repugnant. The second con- cerns the more generic question of the limits that ought to be employed to regulate differ- ent kinds of enterprises. Case studies are examined that illustrate both this central de- bate, and the resulting paradoxes that face enforcement of major economic crimes.


Henry N. Pontell is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Beforing joining John Jay, he was a Professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he now is a Professor Emeritus of criminology, law & society in the School of Social Ecology and of sociology in the School of Social Sciences.

Among other awards and honors, Dr. Pontell has received the Albert J. Reiss, Jr. Distinguished Scholar- ship Award from the American Sociological Association, the Donald R. Cressey Award from the Associa- tion of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Paul Tappan Award from the Western Society of Criminology, the Herbert Bloch Award from the American Society of Criminology, and the Gil Geis Lifetime Achievement Award and the President’s Award from the National White Collar Crime Center. He is a Fellow in the Cen- tre for Criminology at the University of Hong Kong, and is a recipient of the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Chair at Texas Christian University, and the Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. Distinguished University Service Award at UC, Irvine.

He has published over one-hundred scholarly articles and book chapters in the fields of sociology, law and society, criminology, and criminal justice. His books include Profit Without Honor: White-Collar Crime and the Looting of America (Pearson), Big Money Crime: Fraud and Politics in the Savings and Loan Crisis (University of California Press), Contemporary Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honor of Gilbert Geis (Pearson), Prescription for Profit: How Doctors Defraud Medicaid (University of California Press) and Financial Crime and Crisis in the Era of False Profits (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Pontell has served as Vice-President of the American Society of Criminology and President of the Western Society of Criminology, and is an elected Fellow of both organizations. He is a former President of the White-Collar Crime Research Consortium of the National White-Collar Crime Center.

Language: English


April 13, 2017
11:30 am - 12:30 pm




Prof. Henry Pontell, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.