Recent studies have shown that a large portion of casino profits in Canada and the United States comes directly from the pockets of problem gamblers. According to results, between 30% and 40% of casino profits are due to problem gamblers who struggle to overcome their addiction to the flashy lights and far-fetched chances of making money and going big. When it comes to slot machines alone, gambling addicts contribute 60% of casino slots profits.
With profits being so high and there being a strong incentive to allow for problem gamblers, it’s difficult to get casinos to hop on board with helping these types of people. They make up for a large portion of profits, and asking casinos to use resources in order to lower their own income is the opposite of what most businesses aim to do.
Casinos defend their position by pointing out that they pay a portion of their revenue in order to help problem gamblers. However, the amount collected by government agencies generally comes out to about 1 percent of their total revenue, just a fraction of what gaming venues make off of the addictive gamblers that walk through their doors.
Something that is a bit larger that Canadian casinos tend to point out as well is the economic benefits that casinos provide. They give over 26,000 jobs to the working class, and indirectly create around 130,000 more jobs around the globe. For every job that is created directly within a gambling establishment, 4 more jobs are created outside of the venue.
Casinos also spit out a lot in taxes as well. They are some of the most heavily taxed businesses throughout the country, and for good reason. Gambling venues are cash machines that bring in really easy revenue with minimal work required. High taxes incentive local government to allow for casinos to be built within their city limits, which some places are very hesitant to allow due to the risk of problem gambling in their city. Aside from taxes, casinos are good for local economics because they bring in a stream of tourism. People will come from all over just to play on their favorite machines and take a few days out of their busy lives to have some fun.
Despite the economic benefits, many commission agencies from around the world are starting to crack down a bit more on problematic gambling and holding casino operators more responsible. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission recently announced that they will be focusing mainly on gambling addiction throughout the UK over the next year, and even created a new sector within the commission that will be solely used to help problematic gamblers and gather research on how these types of players can be helped and put back on towards a bath to success. They also want to look into how casinos can be more proactive in assisting players that suffer from addiction, rather than focus on draining them for as much as they can.