An unlikely pair of publications paint a surprisingly complete and parallel profile of gamblers and gambling in Southern Nevada.
The first publication is the 2004 State of the States survey of casino entertainment published by the American Gaming Association. The second is the 2003 annual report of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).
The AGA survey reports that the 443 commercial casinos in 11 states generated more than $27 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2003, a 2 percent increase compared to 2002 revenues. The casino industry employed more than 352,000 workers, according to the survey, which also says those workers earned $11.837 billion in wages, including benefits and tips.
The survey said that more than one-quarter of the U.S. adult population — 53.4 million individuals — visited a casino in the past year with those individuals making a total of 310 million trips. Compared to other leisure activities, the survey said, casinos are visited far fewer times than movie theaters or museums, but have almost three times the number of visits as professional baseball teams.
The NCPG report said 53 percent of its hotline callers were men, 36 percent played video poker, 28 percent slot machines, 19 per cent card/table games, 3 percent bet sports and 3 percent bingo/keno.
The report said 37 percent of its callers were married, 25 percent were single, and 13 percent were divorced.
According to the AGA survey, casino customers are slightly older than the average American (48 versus 46 years old) and earn 16 percent more ($53,204 versus $45,781) than the U.S. population. The survey shows nearly three-quarters of all weekly church-goers believe casino gambling is acceptable for themselves or others.
The same survey shows that the higher the income, the more likely an individual is to believe that casino gambling is acceptable for anyone, and the survey shows that residents of the Northeast and Pacific regions show the greatest support for casino gambling.
Moreover, the AGA survey reveals that nearly two thirds of the people who responded in a poll feel the casino gaming industry is doing either a fairly good job or a very good job in eliminating illegal or underage use of their products.