I read with concern David Collins’s column, “How many casino suicides are there?” (Jan. 12). Suicide is an issue of grave importance, and the incidents Collins describes are heart-achingly tragic.
Let me begin by answering the rhetorical question he poses in the article’s title. I can say, without qualification, that suicides at casinos are extremely rare. Examples of such episodes are few and far between.
Collins attempts to establish a causal link between casinos and increased suicides, but existing research doesn’t back up the theory. In fact, nine out of the 10 states with the lowest rate of suicides – of which Connecticut is one – have casinos. And, according to research from the University of California, Irvine, “the risk [of suicide] for gaming area residents is no higher than the risk faced by residents of nongaming areas.”
Suicide is a complex issue, and this letter is not meant to diminish these tragedies. Customers are our industry’s top priority – we take great measures to ensure that their gambling experiences are fun, and, above all, safe.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association