The gambling industry in the U.S. continues to grow at a record-breaking pace. In the first 11 months of 2022, Americans spent nearly $55 billion at casinos and sportsbooks. That represented a 13.5% increase from the previous year.
Surges in gambling came from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and a re-opening of casinos. More states passed legislation to legalize sports betting, as well.
As the epicenter for casinos worldwide, Las Vegas traditionally draws gambling tourism. Almost 40 million people visited the city last year, up 21% from 2021.
Academic research helps to shed light on the positive impacts of gambling on tourism development.
Economic and Sociological Impacts of Casino Gambling
New York is one of the many states in the U.S. that formerly retained a harsh stance on gambling. In 2013, the state allowed sports betting at a few of its casinos. (The state constitution only permits lotteries, horse races, and seven casinos.)
In 2018, a federal ban on sports betting got overturned. By 2019, New York opened its first in-person sportsbooks. Then came online sports betting in 2021.
By January 2022, New York became an online gambling market leader, taking in a whopping $1.6 billion in sports bets. State casino companies generated $113 million in revenue—taxable at 51%.
The state divvies those taxes up by including into their fiscal budget the following:
- Sports programs for underserved youths
- Problem gambling education and treatment
- Education aid
By October 2022, mobile sports wagers in New York generated $13 billion in betting volume, netting $527 million for education.
What is Educational Tourism?
States use gambling tax revenue for education through public school funding or subsidies for secondary learning institutions. New York is home to some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Cornell, Columbia, and New York University.
Land-based casinos fuel economic growth through tourism, and taxes on online gambling help bring in education revenue.
A report on educational tourism estimated the market might be worth almost $400 billion in 2021. The report predicted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2% between 2021 and 2031.
They suggested that countries benefit from educational tourism via money spent on food and beverages, accommodation, and activities associated with leisure and entertainment. Sociological benefits include professional growth and cultural integration.
North America leads the educational tourism market. Gambling legalization across the U.S. incentivizes positive changes in higher education.
How Do Online Casinos Affect the Hospitality Industry?
The way online casinos impact the hospitality industry comes from revenue growth and job creation. Mobile food ordering at land-based casinos is a unique example of how jobs get created from the demands of gamblers in the modern era.
With the emergence of live online dealers, mergers between technology and casinos continue to reshape the industry. During COVID-19 lockdowns, players could log in to their favorite casinos. From there, they could enter live tables with remote dealers.
Also, finding an online casino with $10 minimum deposits became more accessible. Enhanced security with SSL encryption, proper licensing from offshore authorities, and an online community of reviewers help to legitimize online casinos.
Most land-based casinos offer downloadable apps. With a registered account, players may use that casino app to initiate deposits and withdrawals at a brick-and-mortar casino cage.
If an online player goes to a casino cage for a withdrawal, they’re likely to use their winnings at the casino. Avid gamblers may use online accounts to stack redeemable loyalty rewards at hotels and resorts.
The online apps then serve as a marketing tool to draw tourists. Giving players a chance to win discounted or free hotel stays helps to boost the hospitality industry.
Poker sites may also offer promotions encouraging tournament players to visit exotic locations like Bermuda or elsewhere in the Caribbean.
A rise in the popularity of online gambling paired with mobile apps creates positive economic activity that transcends international borders.
Professional sports leagues, teams, and stadiums have partnered with online gambling companies. Fans waiting for the game to start might visit an attached area where they can access an online casino to play games like slots, blackjack, or roulette.
One of the positive impacts of gambling on tourism development is that it can improve infrastructure. Casinos and other gambling establishments often require significant investment in infrastructure to accommodate large numbers of visitors, such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues. These developments can help to stimulate local economies and create jobs, as well as attract more visitors to the area.
In addition, the infrastructure improvements required for gambling establishments can have long-lasting benefits for the local community, even beyond the tourism industry. For example, building new roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure can make it easier for people to travel to and from the area, improving access to goods and services. Improved infrastructure can also lead to increased property values, attracting more businesses and residents to the area and creating a more vibrant community.
However, it’s important to note that infrastructure improvements should be carefully planned and executed to ensure that they are sustainable and provide lasting benefits to the community. Additionally, it’s important to balance the potential economic benefits of gambling with potential social costs, such as problem gambling and other negative impacts on the community. Overall, while gambling can have a positive impact on tourism development by improving infrastructure, it’s important to approach it with a comprehensive and thoughtful strategy that takes into account the long-term impacts on the community.
Tourism development is an essential aspect of any region’s economic progress. Certain areas depend on tourists for education, jobs, and real estate investments.
Popular casino areas like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Macau (China) offer reminders of how gambling remains a large part of human culture.
Whether domestic or foreign, tourists visit these regions and spend money on transportation, hotels, local restaurants, and more. It’s essential to the livelihoods of thousands, if not millions, of people worldwide.
Online casinos boost the gambling industry even further as technology becomes necessary in our everyday lives.