Just over a month ago, nearly 30,000 members of the global gaming industry gathered at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas for Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2019, the world’s premier gaming trade show and education event. Over the course of four days, we had meaningful discussions on the future of the industry and saw firsthand the innovative technologies coming soon to casino floors. Among the highlights of this year’s G2E was our release of new research showing the public’s perception of the casino gaming industry has never been better.
A record 49 percent of American adults have a favorable view of our industry, up from 45 percent just last year. The increase in favorability coincides with a surge in casino visitation and a widespread perception that the industry provides innovative, high-quality entertainment while supporting economic growth. The outlook for next year is positive, with almost half of all Americans expected to visit a casino in the next 12 months.
As gaming expands across the U.S. and more Americans engage with our industry’s offerings, they see firsthand gaming’s positive impact on local economies and its value as a community partner, making their towns and cities better places to live and work.
With hundreds of casino communities across the country, most Americans (71 percent) have come to view casinos as job creators. We support nearly 2 million American workers, offering jobs with growth opportunities that employees view as stepping stones to long-term careers. To put this in perspective, the American gaming industry directly employs more people than the entire U.S. airline industry. The presence of casinos strengthens small businesses, too, supporting an estimated 350,000 small business jobs and $13 billion in employee wages.
Positive public attitudes about our industry are essential to creating an environment where gaming continues to thrive. Each of us has a role to play in demystifying the gaming industry, explaining its benefits, and dispelling the outdated stereotypes that still hold sway in some corners of the public’s imagination. Together, we can ensure that gaming maintains the support of our neighbors and is able to operate effectively across the country.