Bet On It: What Can Legalized Gambling Provide for America’s Future? Job Growth and Increased Economic Opportunities
Bet On It: What Can Legalized Gambling Provide for America’s Future? Job Growth and Increased Economic Opportunities

Bet On It: What Can Legalized Gambling Provide for America’s Future?

Bet On It: What Can Legalized Gambling Provide for America’s Future?: Should states allow for legalized gambling? It’s a question which has sparked a debate nearly as old as the country itself. In order to answer it properly, you have to examine what states themselves can get out of casinos as institutions. You’ll also need to understand the ripple effect that legalized gambling can have across the economy, and other factors which may impact everyday life for residents.

Caption: What does America have to gain from legalized gambling? The answers are numerous, and may surprise you.

Job Growth and Increased Economic Opportunities

There’s no doubt that casinos create jobs. In order to build a casino, you need construction crews, contractors, and subcontractors. In order to run a casino, you need bodies on the floor, managing the machines, and dealing at the tables. All these jobs can add up, especially in states with lagging economies—but, as opponents continue to argue, many of these jobs are temporary.

In order to know how they affect job growth and economic factors over time, we need to study them across an extended period. One long-term study on legalized casinos conducted from 2003 to 2012 concluded that casinos do have a positive impact on per capita income, and continue to have a positive impact on economic growth and wages even around the ten-year mark. Currently, casinos support around 1.8 million jobs across the entire nation.

Source – MultiVu

Caption: VP of Public Affairs at the American Gambling Association Sara Rayme discusses the results of a shocking study on gambling’s economic impact across the country.

Likewise, legalized online gambling creates its own set of jobs. In New Jersey’s legislation for online casinos, stipulations require that the venues must hire residents of the state to perform nearly every function needed. And while there aren’t as many functions, they do add up—accountancy, server maintenance, development, and many other jobs are given to Jersey residents.

States with legalized casinos do see positive impacts because of them. Though the influx of jobs in the beginning cannot be upheld (it wouldn’t be feasible to keep a construction crew on-hand for the duration of a casino’s existence), the job market does stay stable and even continues to expand more in casino states than other states or counties. This isn’t only because of the casinos themselves, but also because of their effect on infrastructure and tourism.

Increased Tourism and Infrastructural Improvement

Las Vegas is perhaps the best example of the sort of economy which can grow from legalized gambling. While there are many other factors which contribute to the ‘Las Vegas Effect’, it’s easy to see how casinos have saved the state from being relegated to a blip in the radar of anyone passing through.

Vegas casinos attract visitors from all around the world. While these visitors love to spend their money at casinos, they also spend it at restaurants, hotels, theatres, art galleries, and excursions into the surrounding countryside. All of this provides an economic stimulus the city wouldn’t be able to thrive without.

The bright lights of Vegas are practically synonymous with gambling, and the city itself has taken on an identity completely meshed with its favorite pastime. So much so that it’s sparked industry changes across the globe, influencing the atmosphere in other regions and even, surprisingly enough, online.

Glitz, glamor, and a glorious lifestyle permeate the image of Las Vegas, drawing in millions of tourists each year.

Nevada and the shining city of Las Vegas struck so much adulation into the hearts of Americans and people across the world that many web-based venues hope to emulate the successful spirit of the past. Providers like the 777 online casino have already cashed in on the very idea of Vegas, with a charming vintage style and a classic old-timey theme permeating the site.

This throwback to old-school Vegas is what gives the site its edge over other online providers. People know Vegas, they associate Vegas with what is essentially the best of the best of gambling hotspots, so it makes sense that others would hop on that imagery and use it to their advantage. While no other state stands to steal Vegas’ thunder, other states are certainly cashing in—and they’ve found that tourism, the hospitality industry, and infrastructure improved as a result.

Caption: Increased resort casinos lead to increased tourism, stimulating economic growth and providing states with increased revenue overall.

As people flock to casinos, hotels spring up around them. States scramble to improve roads and public transportation, police concentration improves to keep the area safe, and other attractions are developed to support the influx of people coming in. These factors combined all help contribute to the one thing states care about more than anything: taxable revenue.

State Revenue Streams Through Taxable Income

Like all businesses, casinos are subjected to taxation by the state governments which license and regulate them. When they make more money, the states make more money. The American Gaming Association reports that commercial casinos generated $40.28 billion dollars in taxable revenue in 2017, worth around $9.23 billion dollars in direct revenue for all the states which support casinos (both on and offline) combined.

Though the amount taken in taxes varies from state to state, it’s impossible to deny that this is a hefty sum. However, it isn’t the only sum to consider. Hotels, restaurants, and tourism-related businesses must also pay their dues. When the people start gambling more money, those dues get bigger and bigger. This isn’t only true of brick-and-mortar casinos, either. Online casinos are already generating millions in New Jersey, Nevada, and other states.

Caption: Taxes from legal gambling are pouring in for the state of New Jersey, which provides legislation supporting both on and offline venues.

When states make more money, they have more resources which they can use to improve the quality of life for residents. Education, social programs, infrastructure, and many forms of community support are all funded in part through state taxes. When there are more taxes, the quality of these programs improves.

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Many of the arguments against gambling are moral in nature, and we’ve started to shift away from these qualms as a society. In reality, gambling as an institution is poised to help our country out immensely. If we treat it as a crime, it is indeed a victimless one—and it serves no purpose to continue to keep it illegal. Instead, through regulatory measures, we can ensure that US gambling stays safe and financially beneficial for all parties involved.

Caption: Revenue from tribal casinos in Arizona goes largely to programs which benefit education, wildlife conservation, and tourism.

Does the legalization of gambling in both online and brick-and-mortar casinos give us some level of hope for the future of our country’s economy? Absolutely. We need as much revenue as we can get, and as much economic injection as we can muster up in order to keep growing and prospering as a nation. On the whole, we’ve already seen the good effects. Lawmakers are beginning to come to their senses, and legalization should be commonplace in the near future. Until it becomes legal in your state, you can pack up your bags and head to Vegas.

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