It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a shattering economic impact on a wide number of industries, tribal gaming included. All told, 246 tribes in 29 states have had to shutter 500 gaming facilities—in many cases for more than one month.
But just how much have these closures cost the U.S. economy?
Based on its long history of researching and analyzing Indian gaming over the past two decades and accumulated data from 16 years of conducting the Indian Gaming Industry Report, the economists at Meister Economic Consulting have estimated the following one-month impacts on the U.S. economy while tribal casinos have been closed:
- $13.1 billion in lost economic activity;
- 728,000 people out of work;
- $2.9 billion in lost wages; and
- $1.9 billion in lost taxes and revenue sharing received by federal, state, and local governments.
This includes the direct effect at tribal casinos, as well as the secondary effects on tribal governments, vendors, employees, and federal, state, and local governments.
The six-week closure direct impacts on tribal casinos alone are estimated as follows:
- $4.4 billion in lost economic activity (i.e., gaming and non-gaming revenue to casinos);
- 296,000 people out of work;
- $997 million in lost wages; and
- $721 million in lost taxes and revenue sharing received by federal, state, and local governments.