LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 15, 1997) — The first, comprehensive national survey of casino gaming employees paints a remarkable picture of the contribution casinos make to the communities where they operate and the impact they have on people’s lives. In a single year casino employees purchased:
- 66,000 homes
- 176,000 automobiles
- 173,000 major appliances
Each month, casino gaming employees and their families purchase:
- 840,000 meals in local restaurants
- 1.4 million fast food, take-out or delivered meals
- 1.3 million visits to entertainment venues
The survey, conducted by the prestigious accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. (C&L) for the American Gaming Association (AGA), and released today at the World Gaming Congress, also shows that the neediest members of the casino gaming communities also benefited from $58 million in charitable contributions and approximately 884,000 hours of volunteer time a month by more than 92,000 employees.
The employee impact survey, which asked more than 178,000 employees from 97 AGA casino companies in 10 states about the impact of their jobs, documents the powerful effect casino jobs have on the men and women they employ. Respondents of the survey emphasized that they have received better job benefits after joining the casino gaming industry. Approximately 63 percent indicated they have better access to health care, and of those who left prior jobs to work at a casino, 27 percent said that health care had not been available to them from their previous employers. Forty-three percent reported that they have better access to day care for their children at their casino jobs.
More than 8.5 percent of employees responding to the survey reported they have been able to get off welfare because of their jobs in the gaming-entertainment industry, and approximately 16 percent of those who responded to the survey were able to stop unemployment benefits because of their casino jobs. Approximately 9 percent of employees surveyed no longer receive food stamps because of their gaming industry employment.
“This survey reveals what we have believed all along,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president & CEO of the American Gaming Association. “When people are given opportunities, such as they are in the gaming-entertainment industry, they strive to do well, improve their living standards and give back something to the communities in exchange for what they’ve received.”
As of July 1997, more than 328,000 Americans are directly employed in the nation’s casino gaming industry according to the C&L survey, and employment in this industry has grown by approximately 46,000 people or 16 percent on a national basis since December 1995.
Employees in the casino industry are please with the job skills they have acquired as a result of their jobs, according to the survey. Approximately 65 percent responded that they have been able to develop new job skills because of their jobs in the gaming industry, and 78 percent indicated their employer provided them with training to perform their jobs. Additionally, 33 percent expressed that they have been able to improve their education, including 17 percent who said their employers help them pay for external schooling, such as GED programs and college.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Randy Vallen, managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand and manager of the employee survey. “Employees are happy with their jobs in the casino industry. They feel the industry caters to their needs in a way that they’ve not experienced before. Casino jobs have provided new opportunities for many of these people, and for that they are very grateful,” he said.
Financial stability was a key indicator in the employee report. Approximately 60 percent of employees responded that they can pay their bills more regularly, and nearly 37 percent said they have been able to reduce credit card debt. Because of their jobs, 54 percent of employees “worry less about making ends meet,” 63 percent have improved their financial situations and 52 percent are now saving for retirement through pension plans and employee sponsored 401(k) plans.
“This survey tells a success story,” said Fahrenkopf. “Because of the employment opportunities provided to hundred of thousands of individuals in the casino gaming industry, lives have turned around. Families are more financially stable, communities are better off, and people have resumed self pride by getting off welfare and unemployment. The formula works — give people opportunities, and they jump at the chance to make a contribution,” he said.
Fahrenkopf added, “This survey is another piece to the puzzle. The results verify what we have already learned from Arthur Andersen’s macro and micro study about the gaming industry’s tremendous positive economic impact throughout the United States. The introduction of casinos has led to growth in employment, retail sales, tax revenue and restaurants sales and a dramatic decline in public assistance programs, such as welfare and food stamp payments.”
The AGA represents the gaming-entertainment industry by addressing regulatory, legislative and educational issues. The association serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops aggressive educational and advocacy programs and provides leadership in addressing industry issues that are of public concern.