Gambling is often frowned upon and labelled as a dirty business. Many people have become gambling addicts and hurt their families very deeply. Others have killed themselves due to their addiction to gambling.
However there is no denying that gambling makes a significant contribution to the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of ST.Louis published an article by Thomas A Garrett called Casinos and Economic Development: A Look at the Issues. In the article he writes that most of the 50 states in the USA use casino taxes to fund both state and local programs. For example in 2003 18% of the tax revenue in the state of Missouri came from casinos.
Both casinos, state and local governments promote the benefits of casino tax revenue. Public education is one of the programs favoured by state governments to be funded by tax money from casinos. Several states use this as a PR stunt to get the public behind the casinos, because of the tax money allocated to public education.
Even if the article talks about the issues with the economic development due to casinos I can filter out the good parts like these.
In the article How Much Does the US Economy Benefit from Legalized Gambling? It is stated that the GDP of the USA is heavily affected by casinos. In 2016 1.7% of the US GDP came from gambling about 240 billion dollars.
The gambling industry has been growing since then and the past year it supported the economy with 261.4 billion dollars. This 261.4 billion dollars was generated from business sales and 1.8 million american jobs are active due to gambling. This means that 74 billion dollars of labour income was created. This is from salaries, wages, tips, benefits and other types of labour income. 40.8 billion dollars in federal taxes, state taxes and local taxes were collected.
In addition to the significant tax revenue and its impact on GDP, gambling has numerous other ways in which it contributes to the economy. These factors showcase the multifaceted benefits of the industry and its role in stimulating economic growth.
One of the most noticeable ways gambling helps the economy is through tourism and the hospitality sector. Casinos attract millions of tourists from around the world, who flock to experience the thrill of gambling and entertainment. These visitors spend money on accommodation, dining, shopping, and various other local services, creating a ripple effect throughout the local economy.
Popular gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau have built their entire identities around the industry, becoming global hubs for entertainment and luxury. The influx of tourists sustains a wide range of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and retail establishments. The presence of casinos acts as a catalyst for the development of world-class resorts and entertainment complexes, creating jobs and driving economic growth in the process.
The gambling industry is a significant employer, providing a vast number of jobs across various sectors. From dealers and pit bosses on the casino floor to marketing professionals, hotel staff, security personnel, and administrative roles, the sector offers diverse employment opportunities. This not only improves the livelihoods of individuals directly employed by the industry but also stimulates job creation in related industries.
Furthermore, the positive impact of gambling on the economy extends beyond the casino itself. The industry requires support from a range of services such as construction, maintenance, transportation, and marketing. As a result, a thriving gambling industry generates indirect employment opportunities for a wide array of businesses, contractors, and suppliers, boosting local economies and fostering overall prosperity.
The establishment of casinos often involves significant investments in infrastructure and urban development. To attract customers and compete in a crowded market, casinos strive to create attractive and luxurious environments that go beyond gambling. This translates into substantial investments in hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and conference centers, revitalizing and transforming urban areas.
These investments not only enhance the local tourism and entertainment sectors but also have a positive spillover effect on neighboring businesses. The presence of a thriving casino can encourage additional investments, such as the construction of shopping malls, theaters, and other complementary amenities. Such developments not only improve the overall quality of life for residents but also attract new businesses and residents to the area, further stimulating the local economy.
The gambling industry is known for its constant innovation and adoption of cutting-edge technologies. From state-of-the-art slot machines to sophisticated online platforms, the industry continuously pushes the boundaries of technology. This drive for innovation not only improves the gambling experience for customers but also creates opportunities for technology companies to develop and market their products.
Technological advancements in the gambling industry have broader implications for the economy. They lead to the creation of high-tech jobs, attract skilled professionals, and foster the growth of tech ecosystems in the regions where these companies operate. Additionally, the expertise gained in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and virtual reality has applications beyond the gambling sector, benefiting other industries and further driving economic growth.
While it is essential to acknowledge the risks associated with gambling addiction, it is equally crucial to recognize the positive impact that the industry has on the economy. Through tax revenue, contributions to GDP, tourism and hospitality, job creation, investment in infrastructure, and technological advancements, gambling plays a significant role in driving economic growth and creating prosperity. By leveraging these benefits while implementing responsible gambling practices and effective regulation, societies can harness the potential of the industry while safeguarding individuals from harm.