The gambling industry contributed $261.1 billion dollars to the American economy in 2017 and supported 1.8 million jobs, both increases from the most recent study in 2014, according to an Oxford Economics report commissioned by the American Gaming Association.
The revenue figure was a 9.5-percent increase from 2014 and according to the report, yielded $40.8 billion in federal, state and local taxes. The employment figure was up slightly from 1.7 million in 2014, accounting for $74 billion in combined wages, tips and benefits.
“The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” AGA senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane said in a release. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”
That figure has the potential to increase dramatically with the Supreme Court striking down PASPA, the Professional and Amateur and Sports Protection Act of 1992, this May, unleashing a torrent of interest in state legislatures for the legalization of sports betting beyond the borders of Nevada.
New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia already have sports books accepting wagers within their borders and numerous other states - and this week the District of Columbia - are in some stage of working through bills or processes to do the same. The current Oxford study included legalized internet gambling figures from commercial casino operators in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.
According to the study, casinos and manufacturers directly supported 576,000 jobs in 2017, but the number supported by the entire gaming industry increased to 1.8 million with the inclusion of jobs “supported through ancillary spending, and indirect and induced effects.”
Also, 81 percent of the economic impact documented was produced directly from casinos. Of the $40.8 billion in tax revenue recorded, $8 billion was earmarked for Social Security.
Casinos ranked second in U.S. employment within the “recreation” sector, employing roughly 559,000, out-paced only by “fitness/recreation sports centers” at approximately 619,000. They fell third in the “retail” sector comparison, trailing only gasoline stations (932,000) and home improvement centers (695,000).
Consumer spending in casinos ($89 billion) ranked fourth among all sectors considered, trailing “computers, software, accessories” at $125 billion, “hotels” at $104 billion, and “jewelry and watches” at $91 billion.
Consumer spending in casinos rose to $73 billion, marking steady growth since 2000 except during the recession of 2007-2009.