The Economic Effects of Casino Gambling

A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. It’s typically associated with Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey, but it can be found in many other places around the country. Musical shows, free drinks and elaborate scenery help draw in the crowds, but most of the profits for casinos come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, keno and craps all generate billions of dollars in profits for the casinos every year.

While it’s possible to win big money at a casino game, most gamblers are losers. According to Harrah’s Entertainment, in 2005 the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with an above-average income. The average household income was $59,500 and the average net worth was $81,800.

The casino industry relies on gambling for its income, and it does a good job of persuading gamblers to spend more than they plan to. A large part of this effort involves offering perks called “comps.” The casino gives players free items like hotel rooms, food and show tickets for playing their favorite games. These perks are designed to encourage gamblers to keep spending, but also to reward them for their loyalty.

Casinos are a source of jobs for the local community, and their existence leads to an uptick in economic activity throughout a town or neighborhood. This increase in employment often carries over to other local businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores and tourist attractions. However, there are also negative economic effects of casino gambling, such as the rise in problem gambling and lost productivity among workers.