The Economic Impact of Casino

The Economic Impact of Casino

About thirty years ago, casinos were primarily restricted to Nevada. After they started being established outside this area, there were a lot of protests with researchers boldly stipulating that they would have negative effects on the society and would cause damage to the social structures by attracting crime, cannibalizing the local businesses in terms of the employees and creating and preying on the gambling addicts in the society. Thirty years on and the picture could not have been more wrong.

Casino gambling has spread among the different states extensively. Casinos are a common and popular form of entertainment In the United States of America; the government has over the last half century formulated favorable policies to encourage commercial gambling. This has led to many states not only legalizing casinos but also encouraging their establishment in their jurisdictions.

In an attempt to create policies that promote economic growth in this industry, the government has previously created tax breaks for casino enterprises and also given financial incentives. The last twenty years in particular have seen the US state government legalizing previously illegal games such as horse betting, lotteries and casino games mainly in an attempt to foster economic growth (Flynn, 2007).

Despite the large popularity gambling has within the population as compared to other games, there is also a strong opposition on the negative effects that the population associates with gambling. In conservative states, there has been mixed feelings on the different impacts that casinos have on the already set social and economic structures.

The politicians have however supported gambling due to the economic growth it brings as a result of the tourist attraction, increased spending and creation of employment. In addition casinos widely influence the local markets as well as supply states with an additional source of revenue.

Casinos, when established legally have increased the states population tax base as well as supplied the government with additional taxes. Indeed, casinos have been used in majority states as the primary source of revenue and are required to pay more taxes than any other business.

Casino tax revenues in various states are used for varying purposes. Among these uses, they are used to fund key areas that would have been neglected. They remove the need to supplement taxes with additional sources or increment of taxes to the population. This is a relief for most states as the need for more taxes increases so as to meet the needs of the expanding populations.

Tax revenues created from casinos fund projects that would have not been funded had the casinos not been legalized. In some states the states have entered into partnership development projects with the local casinos to ensure that they contribute to the growth of the society. In some states, casinos have hosted businesses seminars for local small and medium scale enterprises using their business experts to foster the growth of the society as a whole by teaching the local businesses owners on effective ways of marketing and reaching a wider market.

Casinos offer additional sources of employment for local citizens. In an era where job creation is a primary concern in all states, this is an advantage that cannot be easily conceded. Casinos have offered local citizens a form of employment (Grinols, 91).

By increasing the population influx into these states they also offer entrepreneurs the choice of setting up new and better enterprises. They purchase and outsource many goods and services for their consumption fostering a lot of growth for the local businesses. They also encourage spending causing dynamism in the local markets (AGA, 9).

In some states, casinos have collaborated with local institutions of learning to educate the local business owners. This puts the small and medium scale enterprise owners at an advantage over their counterparts in the global arena (Missouri, 12).

Casinos also offer the local citizens better remuneration packages and also better terms of employment creating better employee welfare in the society. Therefore casinos have been associated with fostering the local businesses by either providing primary or secondary growth benefits.

Casinos have endlessly contributed to the welfare of the society. This is through community awareness programs, business seminars and charitable organizations. In addition to providing funds for these activities, local casinos have encouraged their employees to volunteer in these charitable events, their executives have sat on local development boards and they have hosted several of these events (UWS, 5).

Casinos expand tourism in the host states. There is a lot of population influx in the states where there are casinos as people flood in to the casinos. This offers the population an additional market and also creates job opportunities. Tourism will also lead to better competition among the local community and will open the area residents to better experiences.

Casinos provide a form of entertainment and recreation for the local citizens in the state. Most people prefer gambling to other sorts of gaming activities. The casinos in some states have been a better alternative to other forms of aggressive activities like fighting and other unfair forms of gambling. Casinos offer a regulated legalized and fair way of gambling. As a result there are a lot of people who travel to these states as tourists so that they can participate in gambling.

As we have discussed casinos have a lot of benefits. However there has been a lot of critics and opposition as to their legalization in several states. Residents have argued that they do not lead to increment of revenue but only redistribute the already existing funds that could have been utilized in other ways (Hsu, 214).

In addition, casinos have been associated with the breakdown of social structures by encouraging organized crime in the local states. When mobsters and gangsters take hold of the industry this has been evident in some states. Casinos have also been associated with preying on peoples gambling addictions. There have been a lot of embezzlement cases, homicides, drugs, assaults and other forms of crime arising from the casino employees and the customers. Analysts argue that this could not be the case had casinos not been there (Grinols, 130).

Most of all casinos have been accused of cannibalizing other local enterprises especially in the entertainment industry by monopolizing all the available funds that are spent on entertainment in the society. This leads to the collapse of the businesses and loss of other jobs to the area residents.

All things considered casinos have brought more benefits than the ills they seem to bring. This is because the negative impacts they offer are no more different to other forms of businesses such as club establishments. The positive impacts are far more beneficial and detrimental to the economic growth of the society than any social effects they have been accused of bringing. Casinos have stimulated economic growth in the host states but, diversity should be encouraged to prevent states from the tendency of over reliance on one source of revenue.


American Gambling Association. (1999).State of the states: The AGA survey of casino entertainment. Washington

University of Western Sidney. (1996). An examination of socioeconomic effects of gambling on individuals, families and the community including research into the cost of problem gambling in New South Wales. Macather: Australian Institute of gambling research.

U.S. Department of Justice. (2000). Effects of Casino Gambling on Crime and Quality of Life in New Casino Jurisdictions. National Institute of Justice.

Missouri Gaming Commission Annual Report to the General Assembly, Fiscal Year 2003, Missouri Gaming Commission, July 2003,

From (accessed October 28, 2008)

Earl L. Grinols. (2004). Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cathy H. C. Hsu. (1999). Legalized Casino Gaming in the United States: The Economic and Social Impact. New York: Haworth Press.

Flynn, S. (2007). Is gambling good for America? Parade Magazine. 20 May, 2007.

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