Daily Record Staff//June 22, 2017
//June 22, 2017
American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman called casino gaming “a strong community partner in Maryland” Thursday at Live Casino & Hotel in Hanover during the third stop on the American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour.
The tour stop was in conjunction with “Live At 5,” a celebration of the Maryland casino’s fifth anniversary and was held during the Minority Outreach Fair which connects small-, minority- and women-owned firms with prime companies interested in doing business with them.
The casino industry is a $240 billion-a-year industry that supports 1.7 million jobs nationwide. In Maryland, gaming employs 11,000 people, supports $446 million in wages and generates $1.7 billion in economic impact. Since casino gaming opened in Maryland, the state’s casinos have given $1.8 billion to the Maryland Education Trust Fund, which supports pre-K through 12 public education, public school and higher-education construction and capital improvements such as community colleges.
Earlier this year, AGA released a report, “The Gaming Industry’s Impact on Small Business Development in the United States,” that examined nearly a dozen U.S. gaming markets and assessed casino gaming’s direct and indirect impact on local, small businesses. Researchers from Spectrum Gaming Group concluded that gaming’s widespread impact is felt in markets across the country, but has larger impacts in small to mid-sized communities where local businesses work to integrate into gaming operations.
The report concluded that “the State of Maryland has been proactive in ensuring that a broad range of businesses share in the benefits of gaming by directing 1.5 percent of all casinos’ slot proceeds go to the Maryland Casino Business Investment Fund (MCBIF).”
This fund provides capital for small-, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in Maryland and 50 percent of the funds are directed to target areas that surround the state’s six casinos. In Anne Arundel County alone, the program has supported $11 million in loans, nearly 300 new jobs and $25 million in new investment since 2008.
Nationwide, the report concluded that the casino gaming industry generates $52 billion in annual revenues for American small businesses and supports $13 billion in small business employee wages. In addition, $52 billion in annual small business revenues go toward real estate, finance, health care, STEM, manufacturing, information technology and other industries.o