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How Have Casinos Impacted the US’s Tourism Industry



All socially accepted forms of gambling found at legally permitted land-based gambling venues, such as casinos, sportsbooks, dedicated poker and bingo venues, and various other sites, generate billions in revenue globally each year.

Online casinos are also on the rise. Let’s dive in to learn more about what is often called ‘gambling tourism‘ to see some of its effects on local and federal economies.

How do casinos impact the tourism industry in the United States?

Certain economies in places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno rely solely on gambling tourism.

Simply put, if the casinos were to disappear from these places, their economies wouldn’t be able to sustain themselves, meaning the very lifeblood that keeps these places alive and well is the money made from people who gamble at licensed land-based casinos in those regions.

The millions of dollars generated in tax revenues from such venues massively help bolster their local economy and are often well spent on various important social projects.

Some of the money is used to fund social programs and responsible gambling/problem gambling programs and initiatives.

Gambling revenue is also used by local, state, and federal authorities in various other key areas of society. It funds public health and sports initiatives, from the grassroots level to helping the underprivileged and bolstering the ‘green economy.’

However, not all states can rely on revenue from casino gambling because this form of entertainment hasn’t yet been legalized, and must rely on other revenue streams to fund these initiatives and programs.

In states where land-based casinos are legally permitted and strictly licenced and regulated by those state authorities, casino venues have been authorised purely to encourage tourism to the area and stimulate tax revenue. Most of the time, casinos have a positive impact on local economies.

Is it safe to play at online casinos if there are no land-based casinos in my US state?

Yes and no. For example, only a handful of US states have legalized online casinos, including Michigan, Connecticut, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, and more recently (March 2024), Rhode Island.

People in these states are advised to play at state-licensed online casinos.

If you live in a region of the US that hasn’t yet fully legalized online casino gambling, and you want to know where to look for online casinos, there are sites to which you can turn to help you find trusted casino sites. In most other US states where online casino gambling still hasn’t been legalized, players who want to play real-money online slots, table & card games and live dealer games often have no choice but to play at what are referred to as offshore casinos.

Don’t forget that these top-rated US online casinos also accept players living in many countries where online casino gambling is legally permitted and that because they operate from outside US borders, they don’t fall under US jurisdiction.

The minimum age for gambling at online casinos in the US is 21, but you will also find that most online casinos accept players as young as 18. Today’s most trusted US offshore casinos are perfectly secure because they are fully licensed and regulated by various other mid to top-tier licensing jurisdictions.

Final thoughts

Playing casino games, placing sports bets, betting on horses and dogs, playing lotteries, bingo, and keno are popular forms of entertainment that are here to stay.

There is a huge demand and appetite for land-based and online casino gambling in the US and many other countries across the globe, and when forward-thinking authorities and industry leaders get things right, it can have a significant impact on the economy in more ways than one.

When gamblers are provided with a safe and well-regulated brick-and-mortar or digital environment, both the regular [land-based] tourism gambling and iGaming industries can grow sustainably. The important thing to remember is that if you decide to gamble at a land-based, state-licensed, or offshore online casino, always gamble responsibly.

Today’s most trusted gambling operators provide a wide range of safer/responsible gambling tools that make it easier for players to stay in much better control of their spending.

For example, online casino operators allow players to set things like win/loss limits, session time reminders, and daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits.

In places where land-based casinos are allowed to operate legally in the United States, whether it’s on government or tribal soil, casinos have been built to encourage locals and tourists to the area to help bring in a much-needed revenue stream.

Therefore, casinos are well-known to have a significant impact on the tourism industry, with Las Vegas being the most notable example.

More people than ever travel great distances and flock to land-based casinos in certain regions to play their favourite games more than ever, but when it’s not possible to travel, they turn to online casinos.

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