Is Gambling Good for the Economy? Looking at the Financial Impact of Land-Based and Online Casinos

Is Gambling Good for the Economy? Looking at the Financial Impact of Land-Based and Online Casinos

Gambling has been viewed as an unethical activity by several governments for far too long. But since this has yet to deter players from having their fun at casinos, it was finally time to take a look at the financial impact both land-based and online casinos can have. And we think that if things are done right, gambling can have a host of benefits for everyone involved.

The Benefits of Gambling for the Economy

Social Funding

The most obvious benefit of gambling for the economy is the revenue the industry creates. This means that the government has a more stable income that can be used to improve social structures. For example, the government can fund social programs that help marginalized groups or help with specific problems the area is facing (like homelessness, poverty, etc.).

We already have a lot of real-life examples that approach betting from this perspective. New Jersey is the first that comes to mind. In 1976, the gambling referendum promised to use 15% of the revenue to help disabled people and seniors. 

The only issue with this approach lies with the government itself. Who’s to say that it will spend the money as advertised?

Increased Employment

It’s undeniable that both land-based and online casino businesses can create more work. These are just some of the jobs you could have in the gambling industry:

  • Host
  • Dealer
  • Waiter
  • Accountant
  • Product Manager
  • Customer Support
  • Marketing jobs
  • Operation director

As you can see, it’s a mix of jobs that a wide range of people can do. Critics of gambling often say that the issue with job creation is that there might not be a strong talent pool in the area where the casino is established. For example, if an operator comes to a small rural area, it will likely attract talent from bigger neighboring municipalities. This could make the local area more expensive, as it likely doesn’t have the resources to accommodate a lot of new residents quickly.

However, there are two counterarguments to this point. Firstly, if we’re talking about brick-and-mortar casinos opening in such areas, then more residents can help with development. Tax revenue from gambling can be used for social funding and to address any potential housing crisis.

And secondly, these issues are almost completely nonexistent in the case of online casinos. Giving people the opportunity to work remotely eliminates the need to move.

More Tourists

Casino tourism is very popular and can bring in a lot of additional revenue. When casinos are promoted as an essential vacation experience, they can only impact local economies in positive ways. For one, tourists spend more money in local retail stores. Let’s not forget that a lot of casinos have hotels and restaurants, which means the funds are coming in from more than just gambling. Las Vegas and Atlantic City are perfect examples of this.

The problem with many land-based casinos being in one area can arise when only the local population visits them. If locals spend more money gambling, they’ll have less to spend on other goods and forms of entertainment.

So, any casino that wants to make a positive impact on its community needs to draw in customers from outside the local area. This can be done through marketing campaigns and collaborations with the tourism department.

When it comes to online casinos, we can’t talk about traditional casino tourism. However, an operator can open its doors to players outside the country they are based in. They can do this by getting a proper license and offering incentives for foreign players to join. For example, one can offer different online casino bonuses depending on where the customer is from. 


Just like the government can spend the money earned from the tax revenue of casinos on social programs, they can also use it for city improvements and other expenditures. This money can be valuable for improving roads, building more housing and office complexes, or investing in education. 

The cities could grow exponentially, and this can create a positive loop that contributes to more growth and a better economy.

Social Costs

All of the aforementioned benefits sound amazing, yet we can’t neglect the social costs that come with them. We already mentioned some potential issues, but two key ones need to be taken into account:

  • Individual financial losses: Compulsive gambling is a real problem, and not everyone has the control to keep playing strictly for fun or on vacation. This can lead to financial trouble and poor mental health. 
  • Societal losses: On a societal level, compulsive gambling issues can lead to more crime and homelessness. Property theft to pay off gambling debts can become more common, leading to an unsafe environment for all residents.

The most obvious answer to these issues is gambling tourism. If people leave after they spend the money needed to improve the economy, the negative effects can be avoided. Another step that can be taken is to have strict laws to combat problem gambling.

For example, the UK introduced a law saying that casinos cannot use the adjective “free” for “free bet” or “free spin” promotions if the customer is required to spend any money. That’s why you’ll see brands like Bet365 using terms like “Bet Credits” instead. Though it’s still the same promotion where you get some funds to bet with bonus money, you still need to make a deposit or spend real money first to use it.

Raising awareness around gambling and giving people the tools to gamble responsibly can also significantly curb the negative impact. Online casinos do this fairly well, as a lot of them allow people to limit their deposit and wager amounts. As well as that, there are systems in place to protect minors, and most casinos also have dedicated pages for self-assessment. Customers who feel like they don’t have control over their gambling habits anymore can also exclude themselves from casinos altogether.

All of that is a result of strict license requirements and conditions. It’s a great example of how the right laws can foster a safer environment instead of ignoring the problem completely.


It’s undeniable that both land-based and online casinos can have a positive effect on the economy. Though there are a lot of negative aspects associated with gambling, a little creativity, high problem-solving skills, and the right restrictions can bring out the best in this industry. The main benefit governments can reap is tax revenue, as it can put cities on a fast track to exponential growth.

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