Gambling and online gambling and their effects on the economy and GDP is a highly disputed topic among economist and other financial professionals alike. Some say that things like playing Blackjack, Poker, or casino slots do nothing for GDP, while others believe that gambling, both in casinos and online, add significant income and jobs to the overall economy.
Pros and cons of gambling and online gambling are frequently quoted, often adding more to the debate and less to a more unified solution. Here are just a few examples of how gambling and online gambling might add to the economy and GDP.
- Casinos and other gambling institutions will attract tourists. More tourists in the area mean more money is spent in the local economy, not just at the casino, but at hotels, restaurants, local shops, and anywhere else money could be spent in the area.
- Local residents who enjoy casino games and other gambling no longer have to spend the time and money to travel to a different city or state to play. Their money will then stay within the local economy and recirculate to help improve the local economy.
- Casinos and other gambling outfits often purchase their supplies from out-of-state or out-of-country suppliers, thus potentially putting local businesses in tough financial situations (and maybe even sending them into bankruptcy).
- Casinos require increased presence of security, police, and other public services, thus increasing the overall cost to the local economy. Similarly, casinos could also breed some psychological problems and addicted gamblers, thus increasing the need and cost of psychological counseling in the local area.
There are some benefits to GDP and local economies when casinos and other gambling establishments are introduced to an area, while there are arguably some negative consequences that deserve discussion and consideration when determining whether or not to bring a casino into town.
There isn’t a clear answer, but with informed discussion and compromise, each individual town can make its own decision to allow casinos and online gambling or not.