The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearing house for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern. According to the 2006 survey, taken by it, a typical US online gambler is in his early 30s, college educate, male, rather well-off. Besides that the survey tells that for the first time ever the US commercial casino industry in 2005 generated more than $ 30 billion in gross gaming revenues.
Peter D. Hart, Research Associates, Inc., whilst conducting the survey on Internet Gamblers came to the following results: the popularity of online gambling has increased what is proved by the fact that 70% of gamblers started gambling online within the last 2 years. It should be noted that the US gamblers find online gambling enjoying, but 55% are sure that online gaming teams cheat them this or that way. 46% believe that their fellow players cheat. The fact that 19% respondents realize that the activity is illegal in the US bring confusion about it.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA admits: “Even though our member companies currently aren’t involved in the online gaming market, and the overall percentage of Americans who gamble online is relatively small, there’s no doubt this issue has captured the attention of the media, members of Congress and the American public”.
The survey has also shown the influence of the US commercial casino industry on the national and state level, its increasing popularity in spite of the tremendous damages brought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Thus, last year 455 commercial casinos in 11 states generated $ 30.29 billion in gross gaming revenue – that is a 5% increase in comparison with the year of 2004. For the first time in their history Las Vegas gaming revenues were more than $ 6 billion, and Atlantic City revenues surpassed $ 5 billion. Such huge sums of money can’t but indicate the fact of better employment opportunities in the areas where casinos operate. 354,000 employees wages total more than $ 12, 6 billion (benefits and tips are included). State and local governments get tax revenue from the industry that makes up $4, 92 billion (in comparison with the year of 2004 the sum has increased for 5%).
Racetrack casinos could not but be noticed due to their growing economic impact. The 29 operational racetrack casinos in 9 states generated $ 3, 12 billion in gross gaming revenue (in 2004 that sum was 9% less). 17000 people were employed by racinos in 2005, and state and local governments got $ 1, 28 billion in direct gaming taxes.
“This year’s survey confirms that the U.S. commercial casino industry has continued to grow despite the significant obstacles of the past year, and has become an integral component of America’s entertainment culture. With reconstruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast continuing at a rapid pace and new gaming markets expected to come online later this year, we look forward to even greater success this year,” – Fahrenkopf said.
The poll has shown the still increasing popularity of poker. The reasons for playing poker, that is the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, as well as strategy and skills required by the game have also been stated in the poll. Poker revenues are said to have increased too. Nevada and New Jersey, the only commercial casino states, have witnessed an amazing 37% increase of poker revenues if to compare with the year of 2004.
Some others results of the survey are: nearly 80% of respondents have said that gambling is acceptable for everyone; 83% of respondents regard gambling as a question of personal choice; 72% of respondents view casinos as an indispensable part of their entertainment and tourist options.
To get the complete account of the survey results please visit http://www.americangaming.org.