Casino gambling is a popular and profitable tourist attraction. In many countries around the world, it is illegal, which potentially can attract tourists from those countries.
"The house always wins" is a phrase that accurately characterizes the gambling business. No matter how big the jackpot a lucky player wins, the casino will never suffer more losses than it earns from other players.
This makes the gambling business extremely profitable and leads people addicted to gambling to sell their property and take on debt to satisfy their desires.
That is why gambling is prohibited in many countries around the world, such as Muslim countries and China.
In Ukraine, gambling was banned in 2009. Violators of this law can be fined up to eight thousand minimum wages, which is more than 33.3 million hryvnias ($1.3 million), and their property can be confiscated.
Analysts estimate global gambling revenues at $130 billion per year. The largest casinos in Las Vegas can earn up to $14 billion per year. In addition, these establishments provide numerous high-paying jobs.
We analyzed how gambling affects the economy of the most famous cities where it is legalized.
Las Vegas is synonymous with the gambling business and is one of the most famous cities in the world with legalized gambling. Tourists from not only the United States but also from all over the world come here.
Every year, the city is visited by over 42 million tourists. Each of them spends an average of $540 on gambling and another $380 on other non-casino-related needs. In total, about $22.68 billion is spent in casinos annually, and the total expenses of tourists in the city reach $39 billion.
The average salary of casino workers is over $47,000 per year. There are about 160,000 such workers in the city.
Annually, casinos and hotels in Las Vegas pay about $1 billion in taxes. Gambling winnings are also subject to taxation.
Macao is considered the world's largest center for the gambling business. It is a former Portuguese colony and the only city in China where gambling is legal. Macao has become a major tourist center, primarily for Chinese citizens.
Tourism accounts for about 40% of the city's GDP, and gambling revenues amount to $37.6 billion. This business employs about 70% of the city's working population. Casinos contribute about 80% of the total local budget revenues, or $12.3 billion annually.
Monaco is one of the smallest countries in Europe, but it is famous for its luxurious casinos. Interestingly, gambling is prohibited for citizens of Monaco, but this rule does not apply to foreign tourists.
Annually, the four casinos in Monaco earn about 210 million euros, employing over 1,300 residents of the city. The share of the gambling business in the country's economy is insignificant (slightly over 6% of GDP), but the casinos attract tourists from around the world, including the wealthiest people, movie stars, and other celebrities. Monaco is a low-tax territory, so only value-added tax is paid there.
In the Philippines, gambling was recently legalized during the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. This step led to a boom in the development of online casinos, which mainly target the Chinese market.
Over the past few years, this business has grown to impressive revenue figures of $25 billion per year. It employs over a hundred thousand people, mainly Filipinos and Chinese, who pay about $40 million in taxes from their salaries every month.
Online casinos lease around 800,000 square meters of office space in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, and the occupancy of these offices contributes to the rise in property prices.
Gambling in Georgia is legal but strictly regulated. To open a casino in Georgia, an investor will have to pay a fee of 5 million lari ($1.7 million). However, the country's authorities encourage the development of the gambling business and provide incentives to open casinos in tourist cities such as Batumi (where the fee is reduced by 20 times).
Casinos in Georgia generate annual revenues of $2.2 billion (14% of the country's GDP). Tax revenues from the gambling business are growing annually and reached $46.6 million in 2018. As with the Philippines, most casino visitors are foreigners, primarily from neighboring Muslim countries where gambling is strictly prohibited.