The American casino industry is rolling the dice and coming up aces, as a recent study by the American Gaming Association reveals that it generates a staggering $329 billion in annual economic activity in the United States. This eye-opening report, released on Monday, showcases the remarkable resilience and growth of the industry, even in the face of unprecedented challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, the casino industry witnessed a remarkable 26% increase in its economic impact compared to 2017, defying all odds. The study highlights the crucial role of both commercial and tribal casinos in supporting a whopping 1.8 million jobs across the nation. Remarkably, this figure remains consistent with 2017 statistics, illustrating the industry’s enduring commitment to employment.
What’s more, these jobs aren’t merely numbers on paper; they translate to a colossal $104 billion in wages for hardworking Americans, marking a remarkable 40% increase since 2017. The casino industry isn’t just about entertainment; it’s a significant contributor to livelihoods.
From a financial perspective, the industry contributed a substantial $52.7 billion in taxes last year, further supporting federal, state, and local governments. This impressive figure represents a 29% increase since 2017 and underscores the industry’s vital role in public finances.
Bill Miller, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, lauds these numbers as a testament to the industry’s “resiliency and continued strength.” He reflects on the dark days of nearly 1,000 closed casinos, contrasting them with today’s record-breaking revenues.
In the current year, the U.S. casino industry is enjoying its most prosperous period ever, poised to surpass the $60 billion it earned from gamblers the previous year. Experts like David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, attribute this success to the enduring popularity of casino gambling in the United States. Despite economic challenges, casinos remain potent drivers of economic activity.
Jane Bokunewicz, Director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at New Jersey’s Stockton University, emphasizes that casinos’ contributions extend beyond their gambling revenue. They serve as the largest employers in many regions, offering substantial wages and benefits that ripple through local economies. Employees, in turn, spend their earnings on various goods and services, stimulating secondary economic impact.
Moreover, casinos have substantial operating costs, ranging from food and linen purchases to maintenance and construction projects. They engage local builders and vendors, further boosting regional economies. The survey also accounts for the spending of casino workers on non-gambling items, contributing to the economic cycle.
The study casts a wide net in its analysis, encompassing various aspects of the casino industry. It includes capital investments such as the construction of new casinos and renovations to existing ones, along with spending by manufacturers of gambling devices, including slot machines. The supply chain spending by casinos and expenditures by casino patrons outside casinos also play vital roles in the industry’s economic impact.
Commercial casinos employed nearly 332,000 workers in 2022, while tribal casinos provided employment to nearly 265,000 individuals. Additionally, there were almost 89,000 jobs at businesses catering to casino patrons during trips or assisting in casino construction and renovations. More than 23,000 jobs were created by gambling equipment manufacturers.
Remarkably, non-gambling revenue, including income from food and beverage sales, hotel rooms, and other services, accounted for nearly 17% of casino revenue last year. This diversification highlights the industry’s adaptability and ability to thrive beyond the gaming tables.
In conclusion, the American casino industry isn’t just about games of chance; it’s a dynamic economic engine, fueling job creation, tax revenue, and economic growth across the nation. As the industry continues to evolve and diversify, its contribution to the American economy is poised to remain substantial, ensuring that the chips keep stacking in its favor.