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The Totality of Gaming's Impact

New study details gaming's quarter-trillion contribution to U.S. economy

For the first time in the gaming industry’s history, AGA documented the massive impact of America’s casino gaming industry from coast to coast, and the results were eye-opening.

Our industry’s story was strengthened by expanding beyond “gross gaming revenue” and including tribal gaming, equipment manufacturers and the many other vibrant components of gaming. News of our industry’s tremendous impact was covered through exclusive national stories that ran on CNBC and on the Associated Press wire, reaching nearly 250 newspapers and dozens of local news stations across the country.

Touting Gaming’s Positive Economic Impact

Released as part of AGA’s Get to Know Gaming campaign, which aims to promote the value of gaming, the economic research firm that conducted the study, Oxford Economics, found that the U.S. gaming industry contributes $240 billion—nearly a quarter-trillion—to the U.S. economy, which is equivalent to the total state budgets of New York and Texas combined; supports more than 1.7 million jobs—more than double Washington, D.C.’s total employment—and nearly $74 billion in income; and, generates $38 billion in tax revenues to local, state and federal governments—enough to pay more than half a million teachers’ salaries.

Oxford conducted an in-depth analysis on the economic impact, tax revenues and employment figures of commercial casinos, Native American casinos and gaming equipment manufacturers, as well as our industry’s significant ripple effect, which supports local businesses and communities.

Contributes $240 Billion to the U.S. Economy

U.S. casinos, including those owned by Native American tribes, generate total revenues of more than $81 billion.

Casino gaming revenues—$67 billion—are now at a historic peak. American gaming equipment manufacturers, who build the table games, slot machines and other products found on the casino floor, produce nearly $6 billion in total revenues.

The gaming industry generates more than $14 billion in consumer spending at restaurants, retail stores, hotels and other businesses. The industry also generates approximately $60 billion in payments to suppliers, including many local, and injects $78 billion through gaming employees’ spending.

Supports More Than 1.7 Million Jobs and Nearly $74 Billion in Income

Casinos are one of the largest recreational employers in America. Gaming directly employs approximately 734,000 American workers, generating nearly $33 billion in wages, benefits and tips. Casino purchases from suppliers support another approximately 383,000 jobs, and gaming employees’ spending sustains nearly 595,000 jobs. Overall, the industry supports a total of more than 1.7 million jobs—greater than the entire airline industry—and nearly $74 billion in income.

Generates $38 Billion in Tax Revenues

Oxford Economics found that the gaming industry generates nearly $17.3 billion in federal taxes, approximately $11 billion in state and local taxes and almost $10 billion in state and local gaming taxes. The $38 billion-plus injection into public budgets pays for a range of services including public safety, hospitals and schools, among others.

Our Message to Policymakers: Work with Gaming Leaders

So what’s the point? The point of conducting this research is to affirm what we have long known: that our industry’s contributions are tremendous and have been underestimated. Our contributions warrant gaming leaders to have a seat at the table with elected officials to discuss the next generation of gaming policies.

These impressive economic impact figures, in combination with results of a poll conducted earlier this year—which showed that voters across the political spectrum view casino gaming more favorably than ever before, and recognize that casino gaming creates jobs, strengthens local businesses and benefits communities—strengthens our call to policymakers.

Our message is that in order for the gaming industry to continue serving as an economic engine, policymakers must work with industry leaders to craft policies that help maximize gaming’s ability to innovate, reinvest and contribute to local communities.

We encourage you to promote these national findings with your state and local elected officials. Our industry’s nearly quarter-trillion dollar contributions should no longer be underestimated. The AGA will work to unify the voice of the 1.7 million Americans whose jobs depend on gaming to urge policymakers to work with gaming leaders as better partners for creating policies that allow our industry to thrive.

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