The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the US economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

The Oxford Economics’ 2018 study, titled Economic Impact of the US Gaming Industry, found that the sector contributes $261bn to the US economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014; supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and generates $40.8bn in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

Distilling those figures, the report showed that the gaming industry supported 727,000 direct jobs, with $33.3bn of wages, salaries, tips and other labor income in 2017. These represent jobs on-site at casinos or gaming manufacturers, at corresponding corporate offices, and the jobs supported by ancillary spending by casino patrons during casino trips. As part of this total, casinos directly employed 559,000 employees with $26.5bn in labor income, while manufacturers directly employed 17,000 workers with $1.1bn in labor income. Ancillary spending by casino patrons directly generated 151,000 jobs with $5.7bn of labor income.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the AGA.

She added: “The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers. Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”