The social and economic impact of the casino industry

Thursday 16th April 2020

Evaluating the impact of the casino industry on society is very complicated because many factors have to be considered. Most of them are related to economics, but some address the quality of life and social standards. While some disapprove of casino venues because of moral grounds, others consider it as part of the leisure and entertainment sector. One thing is certain - the impression and public opinion of this industry have drastically improved over the last ten years.

According to a recent survey, more than two-thirds of the surveyed population in the US believe that casinos brought widespread economic benefits to other industries and businesses in their region. Furthermore, they agree on the fact that legalised casino gaming is a good way for states to generate revenue without having to raise taxes. People advocate for this industry, suggesting that the expansion of casinos will create more job opportunities and increase the overall standard of life. Others think this will cause gambling-related harm and industry cannibalisation.

Economic benefits

Various research studies have been performed in order to understand the impact of casinos on the economy at the US state level. Having all in mind, the study revealed that states which have licenced casino and betting venues, actually have better employment rate. That goes at around 8% higher rate compared to the stated that haven't legalised casino and sports betting activities. Another important socioeconomic and political benefit is the tax revenue generated from online and land-based casinos. States with legalised casino activities impose small tax percentages mostly at or below 5% which subsidise other public service activities. States can further use this revenue in various social and educational purposes, and at the same time, improve the government image and authority.

Growth and development

For an industry that has been developing over the last two decades, online gaming has been one of the success stories of our time. From a standing start, it is worth over $50 billion a year with a predicted CAGR of 11% until 2025. There are many factors behind this predicted growth. Few of them can be potential challenges, like strict legislation and wagering limits. Overall, this outcome creates a very positive picture for both the players and operators.

The global internet access has played a major role in the growth and development of the online gaming industry. The introduction of online casino games and various themed online slots have enhanced and altered the overall experience and gameplay. The inspiration for the story and design behind these games can be found in almost every aspect of our surrounding. From futuristic characters and galaxies to the mysteries behind the Egyptian symbols in the Eye of Horus slot game - it is up to the players' wish and preferences. The fast internet download speed has also made live casinos very popular and exciting. This form of gaming usually includes games like roulette, blackjack and poker streamed to players, while real-life dealers play and discuss the game in real-time. The atmosphere and thrill behind this way of following the gameplay have proven to be engaging to many players.

Industry cannibalisation

Business analysts debate that casinos interfere with the growth of other industries which is referred to as "industry cannibalisation". In reality, every business competes with their peers to advance and flourish because that's the dynamic of every market. Existing established businesses certainly would not like fierce competition, however, an open and liberal market provides more opportunities for customers. A liberal market also influences on the fair and transparent offers to customers. New casinos will provide more varieties of the games and offer more bonuses and game opportunities.

For example, the State of Pennsylvania is reaping the social and economic benefits of casino gaming. This industry supports more than 33.000 jobs state-wide and has a total economic impact of more than $4 billion, as stated by the American Gaming Association (AGA). Other great examples are Maryland's six casinos and legal online gaming that are driving tremendous opportunities for communities across the state. Nearly $700 million in wages are generated annually-with testimonials from local business owners, nonprofits and elected officials about the positive impact in their communities.

Looking ahead

As mentioned, this industry is projected to grow at a very impressive rate over the years. More and more countries are reviewing the legislation process and methods behind it. In light of the potential for tax revenues, many are set to look favourably on it. There are also some exciting advancements on the way set to boost the global gaming experience, ranging from virtual reality to robot engineering. All combined, they have the purpose to make the players' experience even more immersive and personalised.

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