Steering an estimated $329 billion in economic activity, the domestic casino gaming industry is a powerhouse of the US economy, recent data from the American Gaming Association (AGA) shows.
AGA’s latest research marks its first comprehensive exploration of the industry’s impact on the US economy since 2018. It reveals that last year, casino gaming was responsible for $328.6 billion in economic output and supported up to 1.8 million jobs, including those created by direct gaming taxes worth $13.5 billion. Consequently, the sector contributed almost $53 billion to federal, local, and state coffers. This research was carried out by Oxford Economics.
The gaming industry within the United States directly employs over 700,000 individuals. This figure includes approximately 600,000 on-site roles at casinos and corporate offices, over 23,000 in U.S.-based gaming manufacturing operations, and 89,000 positions at businesses offering goods and services to casino patrons. The association also pointed out that one in every 33 travel and leisure jobs in the US is directly linked to casino employment, eclipsing employment figures for sectors such as air transportation, Hollywood, and the US Postal Service.
The economic significance of the casino gaming sector as a jobs facilitator remains stark, both amongst commercial and tribal gaming entities. During the last year, commercial casinos engaged nearly 332K members of staff, showing a cumulative earning of $16.3 billion that included benefits and gratuities. Meanwhile, employees of tribal gaming entities, numbering approximately 256K, had combined earnings of $8 billion.
Casinos dominate as private sector employers in many of the regions where they are based, developing new income avenues and bolstering sales tax collections. This scenario has often been cited by politicians championing for the setting up of new gaming venues in their areas.
In the previous year, domestic commercial and tribal casinos witnessed visitor spending amounting to $125.9 billion. Non-gaming sources, such as entertainment, food and beverage, and hotel accommodations, made up almost 17% of this total. An additional spending of $4.0 billion was noted at third-party entities like leased restaurants and retail outlets.
While projections indicate that domestic casinos are set to achieve record profits from customers this year, the specter of an economic recession, though possibly mild, looms large. Industry leaders fear that this could result in lower discretionary consumer spending, potentially forcing certain operators to cut back on their workforce strength.