Gaming generates $261bn for US economy

19 September 2018

The gaming industry’s contribution to the US economy increased by nearly 10% to $261bn (£198bn/€224bn) between 2014 and 2017, according to a new study by Oxford Economics on behalf of the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The report, which can be accessed here, found that the industry generated $40.8bn in tax revenues for federal, state and regional governments last year and supported employment for nearly 1.8 million people – up from 1.7 million in 2014 – including 727,000 direct jobs in the sector.

Of the tax take, nearly half ($18.6bn) was for the federal coffers, including $8bn in social security.

“The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, the AGA’s senior vice-president of public affairs.

The analysis includes regulated online gaming in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, with the figures likely to increase further as more states across the country introduce sports betting legislation following the Supreme Court’s decision in May to overturn PASPA.

The study excluded pari-mutuel gaming, slots and video lottery terminals in non-casino locations, lotteries and charitable gaming.

Like consumer spending, direct casino labour income, which reached $26.5bn last year, has followed a positive trajectory year-on-year since 2009 and the aftermath of the worldwide economic crash, with the exception of a marginal fall in 2014.

Interestingly, the report found that $89bn of consumer spending at casinos – including $73bn of spending on gaming – was considerably more than the $76bn spent on attending sports events last year.

Earlier this month the AGA insisted that proposals to introduce a federal framework for regulated sports betting were flawed as the “proven regulatory regime” currently in place is already backed by the majority of US citizens.