Have you ever looked at somewhere like Las Vegas or Atlantic City and wondered whether they truly benefit from the giant casino resorts there?
The economic revenue that these places bring is one of the main reasons why local authorities are usually keen to approve new casinos, but what benefits do they really bring? And what about online casinos that have ‘click here’ advertising everywhere and are becoming more and more popular?
The Jobs Market
Perhaps the most noticeable difference that casinos make is in the job market. Go to a place where there are a lot of casinos and you’ll find a lot of people working in the casino, the hotel, or the restaurants that are part of a casino complex.
Even more than that, the improvements in the local jobs market can extend to areas indirectly linked to the casino industry, such as tourism opportunities, stores, and other services for the visitors.
National defense jobs provide the largest source of employment in Nevada, but gambling, tourism, and entertainment jobs in the state add up to over 315,000, with 170,000 of them in casino hotels. Over 100,000 people are said to be employed on the Las Vegas Strip alone.
An interesting effect of the rise of online casinos has been that more jobs have sprung up in places not normally associated with casinos. For example, game developers can be based anywhere in the world, while live casino dealers operate in studios, many of which are located in the Baltic states.
The Tax Revenue
With many American states recently approving gambling, there is one major reason why this makes sense. This is the amount of tax that they can hope to collect. As this is a major industry, it generates large revenues that can help to fund projects such as hospitals and better transport infrastructure.
If we look at the example of New Jersey, this state has allowed land-based and online gambling for a few years now and tax revenue is growing. This report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reveals all of the different ways that money is collected from gambling in the state.
For example, there is an 8% tax on the gross revenue generated by casinos, and this is put straight into a Casino Revenue Fund. In terms of online casinos, these businesses pay a tax of 15% on their gross revenue.
It all adds up to a huge amount of extra tax for the state to profit from. Naturally, this is higher in places like NJ where the authorities have a robust and transparent method of collecting taxes. This is a sustainable way of benefiting from the casinos, as the revenue keeps on growing if it’s a success.
Nevada’s casinos typically pay more than $1 billion each month in gambling tax on their revenues, with a steady rise over the years. For the authorities, this has become a huge source of income that they depend on.
The Extra Benefits
The most difficult benefit to quantify is the additional income brought to the city by people playing or working in the casinos. What would Las Vegas or Macau be like without their gambling spots? It’s easy to see in places like this how much a city can end up depending on the money brought in by gamblers,
This is less clear in cities where casinos make up a smaller percentage of the economy. For example, someone may travel to London or Buenos Aires to play in casinos but this could easily be lost among the other things that spend money on while there.
Las Vegas is again a good example to use here, simply because so much of the city’s economy has been built on its iconic gambling industry over several decades. A look at the profile of the average visitor here reveals that they have a budget of over $700, which has been steadily increasing over recent years.
In 2021, the average visitor spent three hours a day gambling. This leaves them with a lot of time to go shopping, take in a show, or visit some local restaurants. Each person who comes here to gamble leaves behind a trail of expenditure that helps the city overall. Everyone is unique, though, and this is why exact numbers are so difficult to obtain.
Of course, the huge resorts encourage their visitors to spend as much time and money as possible on their premises. This is why they offer everything that you could want in one place, from food and drink to entertainment and even art galleries.
However, the majority of casino tourism will bring additional benefits to the wider community. This is one of the reasons why we can expect to see more casinos appear in the future. As well as offering a great entertainment option, they also help a city or region to produce employment opportunities, greater tax revenue, and other benefits.