Casino economic impact grows to $329B per year; Nevada remains leading gaming state

Economic contributions have risen 21 percent since the study was first conducted in 2017, before widespread sports betting.

American Gaming Association CEO Bill Miller makes a point during his keynote speech on the opening day of G2E in Las Vegas on Oct. 10, 2023.

American Gaming Association CEO Bill Miller makes a point during his keynote speech on the opening day of G2E in Las Vegas on Oct. 10, 2023. Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent

A study conducted on behalf of the American Gaming Association (AGA) found the national casino industry contributes nearly $329 billion annually to the U.S. economy — up 21 percent from the last time the analysis was done in 2018.

The study, the first undertaken in five years by the Washington, D.C. trade organization, was conducted by Oxford Economics and also found that gaming generates $52.7 billion in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments, and provides jobs for a workforce of 1.8 million.

Five years ago, the report found gaming’s economic impact on the U.S. economy was $271 billion. During the past five years, legal gaming — including commercial or tribal casinos, sports betting and online gaming — has expanded to 45 states and Washington, D.C.

What hasn’t changed is Nevada’s place as the leading gaming state.

According to the report, Nevada casinos contributed $59.6 billion to the state’s economy, supported more than 330,000 jobs and generated $8 billion in tax revenue.

AGA CEO Bill Miller cited Nevada’s numbers during his opening remarks Tuesday at the start of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the three-day gaming industry trade show and conference at the Venetian Exposition Center.

“In Nevada, the gaming industry funds roughly a third of the state's general fund and is the single largest contributor to education spending,” Miller noted.

The study allowed the AGA to update and quantify the industry’s influence on state and local economies.

Miller said the casino industry’s nationwide workforce represents one in every 33 hospitality and leisure jobs across the country — meaning more people work in gaming than for the U.S. Postal Service.

“Given our significant economic impact, it's no surprise that gaming is funding important community priorities all across this country,” Miller said.

California, the nation’s largest tribal gaming state, produced more than one-quarter of the nation’s Indian gaming revenue, according to the National Indian Gaming Association. New York, Pennsylvania and Florida rounded out the top five. The AGA only provided individual state revenue totals for Nevada.

“Tribal gaming revenues are building a new foundation for economic growth and essential services in tribal and non-tribal communities,” Miller said in his remarks.

He said Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation is spending gaming profits on health care, while Florida’s Seminole Tribe reinvested millions of dollars to support community needs.

“Our positive economic community impact is a key business advantage,” Miller said.

In a statement, the AGA cited research showing that 71 percent of American adults recognize the economic benefits generated by gaming.

Still, gaming expansion often faces opposition. Several groups are fighting efforts to add casinos in areas surrounding New York City. In North Carolina, residents are opposed to the expansion of sports betting beyond two tribal casinos.

Through July, gaming revenue nationwide is pacing 11 percent ahead of the record $60.4 billion produced in 2022.

This story was published Oct. 11 by The Nevada Independent and is republished here with permission.


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