Report: Gaming’s economic impact in Nevada totals $67.6 billion in 2018

March 5, 2019 5:05 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
March 5, 2019 5:05 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Nevada’s gaming industry created a statewide economic impact of $67.6 billion in 2018, according to a study produced for the Nevada Resort Association.

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The Nevada Gaming Fact Book, which was released Monday and is produced every two years, focuses on the state’s tourism sector and covers both the direct and indirect economic impacts of the industry. Nevada’s gaming equipment manufacturing sector is not included in the report, which is produced by Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based financial and economic research firm.

The total economic impact number was down from the last report by $900 million due to a record-high visitation figure, more hotel room inventory, and hotel occupancy rates all higher in 2016, according to a Resort Association spokeswoman.

According to 2018 report, gaming and tourism accounted for 37.5 percent of Nevada’s general fund revenue. The sector accounted for $1.8 billion in fees and taxes collected by Nevada, including gross gaming taxes, live entertainment taxes and room taxes.

Hospitality and leisure companies accounted for 450,100 total jobs statewide, which includes resort and casino jobs, positions associated with tourism and jobs associated with vendors that service Nevada’s primary industry.

Gaming and tourism account for 25.8 percent of the state’s total employment figure. The jobs cover $18.8 billion in total wage and salary and payments.

“From hundreds of thousands of jobs with competitive wages and benefits to tens of billions of dollars in capital investments to being the largest contributor of state and local taxes, our industry continues to be the driving force behind Nevada’s economy,” Jan Jones Blackhurst, chairwoman of the Resort Association’s board, said in a statement accompanying the report.

Jones Blackhurst is a senior vice president with Caesars Entertainment. The Resort Association is the Nevada’s largest trade organization representing the casino industry.

In addition to the economic figures, the Resort Association’s Fact Book highlighted several aspects of the gaming industry, including the growth of legal sports wagering, the emergence of eSports and visitor trends.

According to the Fact Book, hotel-casino companies hold seven of the top 10 spots for the highest appraised taxpayers in Southern Nevada’s Clark County and four of the top 10 spots in Northern Nevada’s Washoe County.

Hotel room tax revenue supports public education initiatives and school construction, transportation projects, local government projects, such as parks, promoting tourism, and is providing $750 million toward the construction costs for the $1.8 billion Las Vegas Stadium project. The 65,000-seat domed stadium is expected to open in 2020 and will house the re-located Oakland Raiders.

Nevada’s resort industry also has capital projects currently underway or planned in Northern and Southern Nevada, which total an estimated $20.7 billion.

The report highlighted the corporate and social responsibility work of Resort Association members that donated millions of dollars to local nonprofits, support and promote employee volunteerism programs, and provide in-kind donations of goods and services to organizations. The report also highlights various environmental and sustainable programs.

“Our 2019 report demonstrates the breadth of the gaming and tourism industry’s contributions to Nevada’s way of life,” Jones Blackhurst said.

The report is provided to members of the Nevada Legislature, which meets every two years and is currently in session.

The Washington D.C.-based American Gaming Association produced a nationwide report on gaming’s impact last year, which included tribal owed casinos and gaming equipment manufactures.

The report, the first since 2014, showed gaming having an economic impact of $261 billion, generating $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments, and supporting nearly 1.8 million jobs across the country.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.