$125bn US Commercial Casino Industry Equivalent to 1 Percent of U.S. GDP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Gaming Association (AGA) today released a comprehensive report showing that the economic impacts of the commercial casino industry spread throughout the entire U.S. economy in 2010. The report, “Beyond the Casino Floor: Economic Impacts of the Commercial Casino Industry,” is the first of its kind and offers new in-depth analysis of the gaming industry, including data on the effects of industry spending as well as industry supported and induced spending. The report shows the economic activity supported by the commercial casino industry is roughly equivalent to 1 percent of the $14.5 trillion U.S. gross domestic product in 2010.

“There is no doubt the commercial casino industry is a significant and vital part of our nation’s economy,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “The industry generates and supports economic activity that stretches far beyond the communities that host casinos and into the greater American economy.”

According to the report, 566 casinos in 22 states supported about $125 billion in spending and nearly 820,000 U.S. jobs in 2010. Taking all lines of spending into account, commercial casinos directly generated $49.7 billion in consumer spending and about 350,000 jobs, with salaries and benefits totaling nearly $15 billion in 2010. When indirect and induced impacts are taken into account, the industry supports an additional $76 billion in spending with suppliers and other businesses, and more than 470,000 additional jobs.

Of the previously mentioned roughly $125 billion in spending supported by commercial casinos in 2010, about two-thirds of this activity was generated in the host and surrounding counties and about one-third was generated in other counties across the U.S. One-third – or $15.2 billion – of the commercial casino industry’s revenue in 2010 came from non-gaming sources, including food and beverage sales, hotel operations, retail, entertainment, and meetings and conventions.

In 2010, the gaming industry directly paid nearly $16 billion in taxes, with its effective tax rate totaling 32 percent, which is significantly higher than the economy-wide total tax burden of 27 percent. When indirect and induced economic activity is taken into account, the industry generated close to $25 billion in taxes in 2010.

“The data in this report shows the significant scope of impact of this industry,” said Dr. Coleman Bazelon, principal at The Brattle Group. “This report shows the economic activity spurred and supported by the commercial casino industry has a ripple effect throughout the nation’s greater economy.”

“Beyond the Casino Floor” was prepared by The Brattle Group, a consulting firm specializing in economics. The report is based on economic modeling and analysis and supported by data from AGA member companies and publicly available sources.

Source: Brian Lehman, American Gaming Association