s Louisiana’s casinos began to reopen Monday, the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) released “Casinos & Communities: Louisiana” report, an in-depth analysis of gaming’s economic and social impact in the state.
The study, completed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, shows that Louisiana’s 25 commercial and tribal casinos have a $6.1 billion economic impact on the state; generate $1.5 billion in state and local taxes; support $1.7 billion in wages along with nearly 41,000 jobs.
The AGA estimates that a two-month shutdown of the Louisiana gaming industry would result in a loss of more than $1 billion in economic activity to the state.
The report also features firsthand accounts of gaming’s impact on Louisiana’s communities, including in New Orleans, where gaming has added thousands of good jobs, supported local charities, driven tourism, and grown surrounding small businesses. It also highlights the gaming industry’s leading role in helping Louisianans recover from past crises like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“Since casinos opened in Louisiana in 1993, gaming has been a driving force in the state’s economy. Not only does gaming create jobs and spur investment and tourism throughout Louisiana, but it also provides a much needed source of reliable tax revenue to the state,” AGA said in a release Monday. “In times of natural disaster, casinos have opened their doors to their communities and led efforts to get Louisianans back on their feet.”
AGA also noted that Louisiana’s casinos are considered not just as entertainment options, but as sources of economic opportunity. Christy Dirks, president of Limousine Livery, said: “If not for the casino industry, I might not have been able to turn this company around. We might not have been able to keep the doors open. I might not be able to keep 130 families gainfully employed on a full-time basis.”
Those that live in Louisiana’s gaming communities also describe casinos as good-willed corporate citizens, according to AGA. Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau said: “The casinos have been excellent partners in the community in every aspect of quality of life for citizens, of nonprofits, of business development, and they have stood, ready and willing to listen and help wherever they saw the need.”