For many years, the consensus in the United States gambling to places like Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City. Slowly during the 70’s and 80’s, states began legalizing lotteries and some casinos, though many were relegated to Indian reservations, riverboats and religious or civic organizations that hosted a hall where people could play bingo.
More and more cities across the country and online are seeing the economic benefits that casinos can have on their local economies.
Researchers have found that in cities that have a casino, wages are generally higher than in areas in the state located further away from the casino.
The Benefits of Casinos to the Bottom Line
According to a report released by the American Gaming Association, communities with casinos see a sharp uptick in employment both at the casinos and other surrounding businesses such as retail stores, restaurants, tourist attractions and hotels.
Most recent revenue figures total some $75.69 billion in US dollars are taken in by U.S. casinos with an additional $150 – $200 billion in indirect economic impact.
Tax Revenues and Other Benefits
Sports books, casinos and bingo halls where visitors play bingo for money, for example, add to the overall economy in the cities and states.
Residents usually see higher property values in communities with a casino as well as increased employment opportunities which in turn lend themselves to increased tax revenues can help keep the needs of community infrastructure and community services well-funded.
Benefits vs. Costs
There is no denying that there can be some drawbacks for communities that have a casino.
Some businesses may see a drop in business if the casino features a boutique store or restaurant that directly competes with businesses in the surrounding area. Casino visitors are more likely to stay within a casino campus than to venture outside of it to visit other restaurants, stores and attractions.
Residents from communities that have a casino have also complained that having such operations has led to higher rates of crime being committed by those with gambling addictions trying to get enough money in order to feed their gaming habit.
Research has shown, however, that those who suffer from gambling addiction are often also prone to higher rates of substance abuse.
Many communities have, upon building their casinos, seen the need to also offer services such as addiction counseling and treatment for all of these diseases.
The communities which choose to directly help those who may be suffering from drug, alcohol or gambling addictions have found that in confronting the problem, the overall economic benefits far outweigh the costs in the end.
Is a Nearby Casino in Your Future?
Even when a community wants a casino to be built and the residents support it, there can actually be too much of a good thing.
Recently in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the city and its residents voted in favor of building a new casino in the city. The state gaming commission, however, said that because there were several other casinos within a 200-mile radius that would likely be negatively impacted with another casino in the area, the casino was not built.
Most places where casino gambling has been legalized have realized that this fun and potentially lucrative form of entertainment provides lots of positive benefits for their economy. Having a casino can create a fun social outlet and can be of huge benefit to the surrounding area as well.