Report: Casinos in R.I. contribute $1B in economic activity

THE VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINALS at Newport Grand. Newport Grand and Twin River Casino contribute $1 billion in economic activity in Rhode Island, according to a report released Thursday from the American Gaming Association. / PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY
THE VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINALS at Newport Grand. Newport Grand and Twin River Casino contribute $1 billion in economic activity in Rhode Island, according to a report released Thursday from the American Gaming Association. / PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY

PROVIDENCE – The two commercial casinos in Rhode Island contribute $1 billion in economic activity, and gaming supports 5,496 jobs, which pay more than $253.5 million in wages, according to a report released Thursday from the American Gaming Association.

Rhode Island has two gaming venues – Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport.

In Rhode Island, gaming generates $494.5 million in federal, state and local tax revenue, including $329.7 million in gaming taxes, according to the report, “The Gaming Industry’s Impact on Small Business Development in the United States,” which details how casinos boost local economies.

Nationwide, the casino industry supports 350,000 small business jobs, spurs $52 billion in small business revenue and supports $13 billion in small business employee wages, the report said. It said that more than half of casino industry-supported jobs are at non-gaming businesses, including local restaurants and shops that see an increase in traffic from a casino property.

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The report said casino gaming serves as an “invaluable partner” to small businesses in 40 states, driving job creation and boosting revenue.

Commissioned by the AGA and released by Spectrum Gaming Group, the report examined nearly a dozen U.S. gaming markets and assessed casino gaming’s direct and indirect impact on local, small businesses. Researchers said gaming’s impact is felt in markets across the country, and especially in small- to mid-sized communities where local businesses work to integrate into gaming operations.

“Gaming is a small business driver and champion,” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA, said in a statement. “This new report makes clear that the industry is a critical force behind good paying American jobs from coast to coast.”

The report singled out Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Mass. It said the casino spent $2.4 million with outside companies, including $1.5 million on purchases from companies in Massachusetts.

Overall, the gaming industry nationwide generates 1.7 million jobs, $38 billion in tax revenue and has a $240 billion economic impact, the report said.

U.S. casinos, which include 510 commercial casinos and 474 tribal casinos in 39 states, produce approximately $81 billion in total revenue; U.S. gaming equipment manufacturers produce nearly $6 billion in revenue; and casino patrons spend an additional $14.4 billion during casino trips, totaling $101.3 billion in direct expenditures. As for indirect impacts, payment to suppliers adds $60 billion; and casino employees and other employees spend $78 billion, generating $138 billion in additional economic impact.

Lori Stabile is the PBN Web Editor.

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