Until the 1980s, only Nevada and Atlantic City allowed casinos. Since then, almost 30 states have legalized them, having discovered many positive effects of casinos on local communities. The gaming industry allows for the development of the economy, promotes retail sales and tourism, and increases the number of high-paying jobs. This, in turn, contributes to the growth of tax revenues and, therefore, to the development of the social sphere. Using the example of the USA, you can consider how legit online casinos and land-based casinos operate within one country and how regions, where gambling is prohibited in any form, are developing.
Current position of the gambling industry in the USA
Players leave about 370 billion dollars per year in casinos. Approximately 93% of this amount is returned to people in the form of winnings. Taxes are deducted from the rest, which makes up a significant part of local budgets. Of course, casino profits vary, depending on the state and the influence of external circumstances. For example, those establishments located in Atlantic City bring 4 times more profits than those opened in Illinois or Missouri.
Currently, there is no unequivocal opinion in the USA about the impact of casinos on communities. Active debates regarding the benefits or harms of online and offline casinos are ongoing, even where gambling has already been legalized. Each side has convincing arguments. However, the ultimate question is, of course, financial, and so far, it is the positive impact on the economy that keeps the US gambling industry growing.
Positive effects of casinos on communities
You can single out a list of positive effects of casinos:
- Increasing tax revenues and reducing fiscal stress among the local population, individual entrepreneurs, and companies.
- Attracting additional funds from foreigners.
- Increasing employment by creating new jobs.
- Development of the tourist industry.
- Local retail sales are growing.
Let’s look at these casino benefits more closely.
Taxes are the basis of the local budget. If spending on various areas needs to be increased, it falls on the shoulders of entrepreneurs and every citizen. Taxes on commercial gambling are higher than any other type of tax because they are applied to the entire amount of profit without deductions. Meanwhile, the tax burden on the population remains stable, so states, where casinos are legalized, manage to avoid excessive tax pressure.
At the same time, about 15% of tax revenues from the gaming industry are spent specifically on social benefits: support for pensioners, development of education, and creation of social projects and initiatives.
Casinos also create accompanying infrastructure: restaurants, cafés, hotel complexes, chain stores, and boutiques. Tourists often include gambling in the excursion program but come not only to spin roulette or play poker. They also have lunch, rest, have fun, and visit clubs.
For such a global infrastructure to work well, numerous motivated workers are needed. That is, not only do croupiers and security guards in the casino itself get work but also cooks, waiters, maids, guides, administrators, managers, and cleaners. All of these people earn wages that not only allow them to live at a decent level but also create a solid foundation for a stable and prosperous economy in general.
Negative effects of casinos on communities
In addition to the positive effects of casinos on local communities, there are also certain problems. Most of them are related to the fact that the legalization of gambling and the emergence of casinos in some places has not produced the expected result. In particular, Atlantic City at one time counted on rapid development and active construction, but long after the legalization of casinos, it still had issues with undeveloped areas. At the same time, the number of jobs in 10 years after the appearance of the first casino in Atlantic City doubled.
Another difficulty is that as the number of casinos available increases, the market becomes saturated. If all the same entertainment is available in their city, tourists are less likely to look for a location where they can legally spin roulette. So, the bigger the casino becomes, the fewer benefits it can offer to local communities.
There is also a moral dilemma because, despite the positive economic impact at the moment, gambling addiction harms society. It can cause problems in the long run, like impulsive behavior and addictions.
Fierce public debate continues regarding the feasibility of legalizing casinos in individual states. Economists point out that in some regions, commercial gambling brings many benefits and helps to actively and confidently develop the economy. It is especially noticeable where such institutions have a regional monopoly. However, in densely populated cities, they begin to compete with other operators, and economic growth is much slower.