An American Gaming Association study found that the commercial casino industry generated nearly $13.5 billion in tax revenue, and Massachusetts makes up 2.35% of that figure.
Earlier this week, the AGA released its national economic impact study for 2023. Overall, gaming totaled $328.6 billion for the U.S. economy and accounted for 1.8 million jobs. The tax dollars were a major focal point as well.
To be specific, gambling across the country resulted in $52.7 billion in taxes for federal, state and local revenue. That figure includes tribal casinos.
“The U.S. gaming industry delivers long-term growth and impact to communities, generating significant tax revenue, creating strong jobs, supporting local small businesses and funding critical community priorities,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said during the State of the Industry remarks at G2E 2023.
If Massachusetts online casinos were legalized, those tax revenue figures would be even larger. Here’s a closer look at Massachusetts’ numbers.
How Massachusetts casino taxes factor into the national picture
Massachusetts has three casinos:
Those three combined for $317,316,526 in taxes last year. That figure was up nearly 10% from 2021 — a sign that the state continues to reap the benefits of gaming.
Massachusetts’ rise in casino tax dollars fit right into the national picture. 2022’s taxes from commercial gaming totaled $13,487,510,670. That was a 15.3% jump from the year before, where taxes came out to $11,697,837,472.
There’s a good chance we see the overall tax numbers, including Massachusetts’, rise once this year concludes. According to the AGA’s revenue tracker, 2023’s revenue through July is pacing 11% ahead of 2022’s mark.
Massachusetts was one of 13 states that saw more than $300 million in taxes last year. Pennsylvania absolutely dominated in this category, racking up $2.2 billion in taxes. New York followed behind at $1.8 billion and Nevada finished third at $1.2 billion.
Massachusetts accounted for 1.9% of national casino spend
Massachusetts’s share of the national pie dipped slightly when it came to consumer spend. Customers spent $1,131,925,432 at Massachusetts’ three casinos last year. That’s 1.87% of the national consumer spend.
It is, though, a 10.9% increase from 2021. Massachusetts was one of 22 states/jurisdictions to see a 10% increase or better in this category.
Massachusetts was also one of 15 states to see more than $1 billion in handle. Unsurprisingly, Nevada (which houses the casino capital of the U.S.) led the charge with $14.8 billion in consumer spend. The next-closest state was Pennsylvania at $5.3 billion.
Gambling as a whole is on the rise nationally
According to the AGA’s report, this past year resulted in the most Americans participating in gambling-related entertainment. 49% of adults in the U.S. indulged in some gambling-related activity.
Of those 49%, 26% gambled at a brick-and-mortar casino. 20% of that group placed some form of a sports wager.
More and more younger adults are choosing to spend their dollars at casinos, too. AGA findings show that the average age of a casino-goer in 2023 was 42 — more than seven years younger than 2019’s number.
Your Massachusetts gambling tax dollars don’t go to waste
Casino tax revenue goes right back into Massachusetts.
20% of the state’s gross gaming revenue tax dollars go toward local aid. 15% of the tax money goes to the transportation and infrastructure fund and 14% to the state’s education fund. 10% goes toward the debt and long-term liability reduction trust fund, and another 10% goes to accelerated debt and defeasance.
The remaining 31% goes toward a mix of things, including the state’s tourism fund, cultural council, public health trust fund and community mitigation fund.
In other words, tax dollars generated from your gambling in Massachusetts casinos aren’t going to waste.
While not specifically addressing the positives from Massachusett’s tax dollars, the AGA’s report touched on this. Its findings show that 71% of Americans say the gambling industry has a positive impact on the U.S. economy.