Casinos and Casino Hotels

Casinos and Casino Hotels

Industry Outlook

Employment in gaming services occupations is expected to grow by 5 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), about as fast as the average for all careers. The popularity of gaming establishments will create some demand for gaming workers. More states are seeking to take advantage of the tax and tourism revenue generated by casinos and are considering licensing new casinos or allowing other forms of gambling. In 2018, U.S. casinos and the makers of games found inside casinos employed 1.8 million people and contributed $261 billion to the U.S. economy, including $38 billion in tax revenues to local, state, and federal governments, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). Public opinion regarding the ethics of gambling, as well as its importance to the U.S. economy, is also changing. In 2018, approximately 90 percent of Americans viewed casino gaming as acceptable for themselves or others, according to the AGA.

Non-gaming revenue has become an important part of the casino industry’s bottom line. An AGA report found that about a quarter of casino visitors “never” or “rarely” gamble in casinos. Many casinos now offer a wide range of non-gaming amenities such as fine dining, retail shopping, theater-style shows, golf courses, and spas. Others have state-of-the-art convention centers and meeting facilities to attract business clients.

Revenue in the casino industry will experience strong growth if interstate online gambling is ever legalized. However, the likelihood of this occurring was unclear in 2019. A U.S. Justice Department decision to broaden the federal U.S. Wire Act's prohibition on Internet gambling presented a setback to the industry. A January 2019 Bloomberg article explained: "While the federal law specifically prohibits transmission of wagers and related information across state lines, the Justice Department's new interpretation will impact all online gambling because as a practical matter it's difficult to guarantee that no payments are routed through other states." Court challenges to the Justice Department decision were likely.

The employment outlook for casino industry workers varies depending on the job. According to the Department of Labor, supervisors will experience a 9 percent increase through 2028, while gaming managers will see employment grow 7 percent. The employment of gaming dealers is expected to rise 4 percent through 2028, while gaming and sports book writers and runners will experience a slight decline. Competition is expected to be fierce for all jobs, and the best prospects will exist for employees with experience in customer service or hotels.

The mean annual earnings for workers at casino hotels in 2018 was $22,810, according to the DOL. It reports the following mean annual salaries for casino hotel workers in May 2018: gaming managers, $74,700; gaming supervisors, $49,420; gaming and sports book writers and runners, $24,430; gaming dealers, $20,120; and all other gaming service workers, $27,550.

The coronavirus pandemic negatively affected the global market for gambling. Casinos and hotels that catered to gambling closed due to social restrictions, disrupting not only the business of the establishment but the livelihood of employees at all levels. Casinos relying on in-person gamblers suffered great losses during the early stages of the pandemic as did their related hospitality businesses. In regions where online gambling is legal, the digital gambling industry increased advertising and experienced higher-than-usual usage.

The global commercial casino and online gambling industry had reached $227 billion by mid-2020, as reported by Statista. The gambling and entertainment capital has, for years, been the leading gambling and entertainment center in the U.S. Since 2006, Macao has grown to become the largest casino market in the world, with some of its casino resorts operated by Las Vegas Sands. "How these venues and Macao as a whole will fare in the future will largely depend on the implications of COVID-19." The outlook may be brightening, however, as COVID-19 vaccinations were introduced in late 2020 and early 2021. The research group IBISWorld predicts that through 2025, the casino hotels industry will recover as restrictions are lifted once the coronavirus pandemic is completely contained. Consumer spending will likewise grow, allowing for more spending on discretionary activities such as gambling and vacations. As of December 2020, the market size of the U.S. casino hotels industry was valued at $35 billion, with 386 businesses employment 294,791 people.