Thursday, May 10,2012 : INTERNET GAMBLING COULD BENEFIT, NOT PAIN, LAND CASINOS
Top land gambling exec Frank Fahrenkopf see online gambling as a feeder for land casinos
Frank Fahrenkopf, the chief executive of the US land gambling trade body the American Gaming Association, has spoken out in favour of internet gambling, reassuring interested parties that it is more likely to benefit land casinos than hurt them.
Speaking to reporters after presenting the AGA's annual “State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment” report Wednesday, Fahrenkopf referenced the current drive for federal legalization of online poker, saying that the approval of Internet gambling would expand existing operations, and explaining that a younger player demographic would graduate from online gambling to land gambling establishments over time.
Fahrenkopf said that his Association had spent a "significant" amount of time and resources on researching the impact of the internet on land venues, and that it had concluded that there would be little significant change.
On the wider land industry picture, the trade association chief said that the gambling business appears to be emerging from a long and painful recession, growing healthier nationwide with gross gaming and tax revenues up at the 492 commercial casinos and 517 card rooms in the United States.
The AGA report shows that gross gaming revenue in 2011 was up 3 percent over 2010 to $35.6 billion. In the previous year, revenue increased by less than 1 percent. In 2007 and 2008, revenue declined as a result of the economic depression.
Tax revenue climbed 4.5 percent to $7.93 billion in 2011, and the industry directly employed 339,000 people who earned $12.9 billion in wages, tips and benefits. But the total number of jobs in 2011 was down 0.4 percent from the previous year.
When it comes to land casinos and gambling, operations on the Las Vegas Strip were tops, generating $6.07 billion in gross gaming revenue.