• News

    Study: Colorado gamblers’ ante stirred $1.5B in 2013 economic activity

    December 8, 2014

    Visitors to Colorado’s 39 casinos in three mountain towns fueled $1.5 billion of economic activity in 2013.

    study by Oxford Economics released Thursday — part of a state-by-state survey of gambling’s economic impact by the American Gaming Association — showed Colorado’s non-tribal casinos supported more than 10,000 jobs and generated $342 million of state and local tax revenue last year.

    Gambler losses filled Colorado casino coffers with $749 million of revenue last year, and the casinos made an additional $52.4 million of revenue beyond slots and cards.

    Oxford Economics estimated gambling tourists left an additional $51.5 million in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. So the total direct spending in casinos and gambling towns was $852.6 million last year.

    Casinos employed 5,600 workers in 2013, and ancillary spending supported another 600 jobs, according to the survey. That amounts to $294 million of wages paid by casinos and the gamblers they host. The money those employees spend supported even more jobs, counted as indirect employment and induced employment, giving the casinos a total job impact of 10,000 jobs. (Without commercial casinos in Colorado, the state’s unemployment rates would climb from 4.7 percent to 5.4 percent, according to the study.)

    Oxford Economics also measured the indirect and induced economic output of casinos, pushing the total economic impact of gambling in Colorado to $1.5 billion.

    Colorado’s 39 casinos in 2013 ranked second behind Nevada in terms of total gambling halls, but Colorado’s $1.5 billion gambling impact ranked 13th among the 23 states with commercial casinos,according to American Gaming Association research.

    Commercial casinos in those 23 states fuel a $240 billion gambling industry that supports 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion a year in taxes, according to the American Gaming Association.

    “We were surprised to see how large the industry is,” said Chris Moyer, director of media relations for the association, noting how recent studies like Colorado’s are the first to measure the indirect economic impacts of gambling. “An employee who works at the casino goes and spends at a local business. There is a multiplier effect and that business is able to hire more workers. It really has a ripple effect on the economy and the supply chain.”

    According to the Oxford Economics analysts, casinos in Colorado generated $109 million of state and local tax revenue, including $41 million in sales taxes, $9 million in personal income taxes and $40 million in property taxes.

    The casinos stirred $130 million in federal income, corporate and Social Security taxes. Add in $104 million in gaming tax revenues, and gamblers in casinos generated $342 million in tax revenues in 2013. Without that impact, according to the study, Colorado households would pay an additional $173 in taxes every year, the analysis said.

    press release contact
    AGA Press

    (703) 600-9997‬