Hanover, MD – The casino gaming industry supports 350,000 small business jobs nationwide and nearly 3,000 of them are in Maryland, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced today at Live! Casino & Hotel during the third stop on the American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour.
The tour stop was in conjunction with “Live! At 5,” a celebration of the casino’s fifth anniversary and was held during the Minority Outreach Fair which connects small-, minority- and women-owned firms with prime companies interested in doing business with them.
“Casino gaming is a strong community partner in Maryland and across the country where hundreds of thousands of small business jobs are supported,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA. “We are particularly proud of our support for minority and women-owned businesses and the unique opportunities that our industry makes possible.”
The casino industry is a $240 billion-a-year industry that supports 1.7 million jobs nationwide. In Maryland, gaming employs 11,000 people, supports $446 million in wages and generates $1.7 billion in economic impact.
Since casino gaming opened in Maryland, the state’s casinos have given $1.8 billion to the Maryland Education Trust Fund, which supports pre-K through 12 public education, public school and higher-education construction and capital improvements like community colleges.
“Live! Casino & Hotel is committed to supporting local, small businesses across the region,” said Rob Norton, Cordish Global Gaming president. “Creating economic opportunities for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses aligns with our core values to empower, strengthen and invest in our community.”
Earlier this year, AGA released a report, The Gaming Industry’s Impact on Small Business Development in the United States, that examined nearly a dozen U.S. gaming markets and assessed casino gaming’s direct and indirect impact on local, small businesses. Researchers from Spectrum Gaming Group concluded that gaming’s widespread impact is felt in markets across the country, but has larger impacts in small to mid-sized communities where local businesses work to integrate into gaming operations.
The report concluded that “the State of Maryland has been proactive in ensuring that a broad range of businesses share in the benefits of gaming by directing 1.5 percent of all casinos’ slot proceeds go to the Maryland Casino Business Investment Fund (MCBIF).”
This fund provides capital for small-, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in Maryland and 50 percent of the funds are directed to target areas that surround the state’s six casinos. In Anne Arundel County alone, the program has supported $11 million in loans, nearly 300 new jobs and $25 million in new investment since 2008.
“Without Live’s support of our Operation School Bell® program, many of the 2000+ children we serve would still be without school uniforms and the gift of books,” said Lyn Hopkins, incoming president of the Assistance League of the Chesapeake. “We have seen lives change due to the generous grants we have received. The children’s excitement, gratitude and self-confidence gives us hope for changed lives and strengthened communities.”
Nationwide, the report concluded that the casino gaming industry generates $52 billion in annual revenues for American small businesses and supports $13 billion in small business employee wages. In addition, $52 billion in annual small business revenues go toward real estate, finance, health care, STEM, manufacturing, information technology and other industries.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.