New Report Shows Resilience and Continued Strength of the Casino Sector Despite Pandemic Challenges
In a recent study conducted by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the casino gambling industry in the United States has emerged as a powerhouse, contributing nearly $329 billion annually to the nation’s economic activity. The report, released on Monday, highlights the industry’s remarkable resilience and continued strength, showcasing a 26% increase in economic impact from 2017 to 2022.
Commercial and tribal casinos play a pivotal role in supporting the economy, providing 1.8 million jobs, including 700,000 jobs within casinos or related businesses. Notably, this figure remains consistent with the employment landscape in 2017. The jobs generated $104 billion in wages nationwide, reflecting a substantial 40% increase since 2017.
The industry’s tax contributions to federal, state, and local governments reached $52.7 billion in the past year, marking a substantial 29% increase from 2017. This underscores the casino sector’s significant role in supporting public finances.
Bill Miller, the President and CEO of the AGA, emphasized the industry’s resilience since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, “Think back to where we were a few years ago with nearly 1,000 casinos, almost all of them closed. Today, we’re seeing record revenue in the industry.” Miller sees the study’s findings as a tool to advocate for industry goals, including government efforts to crack down on unlicensed gambling operations.
The U.S. casino industry is currently experiencing its most prosperous year, poised to surpass the $60 billion in revenue from the previous year. David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, notes the enduring popularity of casino gambling in the United States despite economic challenges, stating, “Casinos remain powerful drivers of economic activity.”
Jane Bokunewicz, the director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at New Jersey’s Stockton University, emphasized that the money won by casinos is just one facet of their broader economic contribution. Casinos, often the largest employers in a region, make significant commitments in terms of wages and benefits, contributing to secondary economic impacts as employees spend their earnings on goods and services.
The study examined various facets of the industry, including money spent on traditional casino games, sports betting, online gambling, capital investment, supply chain spending, and more. Notably, non-gambling revenue accounted for nearly 17% of casino revenue last year, including income from food and beverage sales, hotel rooms, and other amenities.
The findings of the AGA’s comprehensive study underscore the enduring significance of the casino industry in shaping the economic landscape of the United States.