St. Louis, MO – The casino gaming industry supports 350,000 small business jobs nationwide and nearly 4,500 of them are in Missouri, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced today at Regents Maintenance Supply, a janitorial supplier and equipment provider for regional casinos.
Today’s event, part of the AGA’s American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour, highlights the direct role River City Casino and Hollywood Casino St. Louis play in supporting Regents Maintenance Supply. Regents is owned by Lamonte Sowell, who started the company in his basement 18 years ago and has since had to move to a larger warehouse, thanks in large part to working with the casino industry. Regents is one of many companies nationwide that benefits from partnering with local casinos.
“Casino gaming is and always has been a strong community partner in Missouri and across the country where hundreds of thousands of small business jobs are supported,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA. “The industry exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit with a special emphasis on creating good local jobs for American workers both inside and outside our casinos in nearly every state.”
The casino industry is a $240 billion-a-year industry that supports 1.7 million jobs nationwide. In Missouri, gaming employs over 20,000 people, supports $836 million in wages and generates $3.3 billion in economic impact.
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.
In addition to boosting small business growth, Missouri casinos in 2016 gave approximately $324.1 million to the state’s Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund. The fund, which was established by the Missouri Legislature in 1993, distributes money annually to statewide education programs. Also in 2016, approximately $77.7 million in gaming tax and admissions fee revenue was returned to the local governments that host Missouri’s casinos.
The report concluded that the casino gaming industry nationwide 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.
“River City Casino & Hotel works hard to identify and utilize locally-owned small businesses for the procurement of its goods and services,” said Chris Plant, Vice President and General Manager of River City Casino. “One such company is Regents Maintenance Supply. We have been working directly with the owner, Lamonte Sowell, for over six years. Regents helps keep our property stunningly beautiful, which enables us to deliver a luxurious experience to our guests. Additionally, we take pride in knowing that as we have grown our businesses, Regents has grown its business as well.”
“Hollywood Casino is committed to purchasing many of our goods and services locally,” said Todd George, Vice President and General Manager of Hollywood Casino. “We are proud to work with local businesses like Regents from throughout the greater St. Louis area.”
“Over the years, we have built relationships with several casinos in Missouri that has allowed us to grow our business,” said Lamonte Sowell, Owner of Regents Maintenance Supply. “Regents has the capacity and professionalism to provide quality service and we look forward to many more years partnering with the casino gaming industry.”
Regents Maintenance Supply is the second stop on AGA’s American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour. The tour, which started in Laurel, Maryland at Eastern Food Services, Inc., is part of AGA’s Get to Know Gaming (G2KG) campaign, a multiyear, integrated public affairs campaign rooted in authoritative research which touts the value of gaming nationwide. To date, through its Gaming Votes initiative and broader G2KG campaign, AGA has visited Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
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.