Both gambling and online gambling are touchy subjects across the United States; while some are avidly in favor, others are staunchly opposed. A recent report from Oxford Economics, however, highlights the contributions of the gambling industry to the American economy. The report shows that in 2017, the gambling industry generated $261.1 billion, of which $40.8 billion went to federal, state and local taxes. Additionally, the industry supported 1.8 million jobs, accounting for $74 billion in combined wages, tips, and benefits. The study was commissioned by the American Gambling Association (AGA).
2014 versus 2017
Oxford Economics’ last report was in 2014, and the numbers from 2017 show a significant increase in both revenue and jobs. With regards to revenue, the 2017 figure shows a 9.5% increase, and with regards to jobs, an additional 1 million have been created in the span of 3 years.
Online Gambling’s Role in the U.S. Economy
Experts attribute the significant revenue increase to the burgeoning online gambling industry in the United States, as well as the casino industry’s openness to new market opportunities. Online gambling has been legal in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware for the past 5 years or so, and Pennsylvania jumped into the fray earlier this year. Many other states are also considering legalizing online gambling, mainly because of the revenue and jobs that the industry has the potential to generate. Specifically, many states that are finding themselves with deep budget deficits are looking toward online gambling as the long-solution.
Other Benefits of Gambling and Online Gambling
In addition to contributing a significant amount to the U.S. economy, the tax revenue from the gambling industry is used for education, hospitals, and public safety.
AGA senior vice-president of public affairs, Sara Slane, commented, “The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers."