Camden’s casinos and their impact on the economy
17 August, 2020
Known as one of London’s most diverse and quirky destinations, Camden has a huge variety of entertainment destinations, eateries and tourist hotspots.
After a day out exploring the markets, Camden’s visitors can enjoy an evening out watching live performances at Dingwalls or catch a show at The Roundhouse. Another popular activity for both residents and tourists alike on an evening is to visit one of Camden’s local selection of casinos. While there is plenty of competition between land based and online gambling operators for blackjack or poker, casino venues in the area continue to thrive. There is The Hippodrome Casino or Lola’s Underground Casino on Cranbourn Street or The Grosvenor and Horizons nearby. These venues each offer a number of the most popular casino games and help to bring a lively energy and possibilities for fun and adventure to the borough.
Apart from being a great source of entertainment, what other impacts does having gambling venues such as casinos have on Camden? Well, economically, having casinos brings in higher tax revenues as well as boosting local tourism and employment. Let’s take a look at these impacts in a little more detail:
Gambling operators pay tax on their income
In the UK, all tax responsibilities are absorbed by the gambling operator and not the customer. This applies to both online and land-based casinos.
For land-based casinos, the amount of you Gaming Duty pay depends on each businesses gross gambling yield in each accounting period and ranges anywhere from 15 percent to 50 percent. This is also the same for online gambling providers.
Online casino sites that offer games of chance such as blackjack, roulette and poker are subject to the gaming duty tax. However, different rules apply to gambling providers that offer games of bingo or lotteries.
Government gaming rulings mean the local councils receive a percentage of the revenue generated by casinos operating within their area. In the capital city, some of the larger casino venues are able to generate up to £57 million in revenues, and consequently pay high sums of Gaming Duty. The benefit of this for Camden is obvious. The higher the takings from casinos in the borough, the more money that can be channelled back into the area for the council to invest in improvement projects.
Casinos need a local workforce
Another economic impact of casinos in Camden is achieved through employment. The borough of Camden provides 7 percent of all of London’s employment, with around 375,000 jobs.
Recent government backed research suggests that the overall employment rate in the Camden area is relatively low and that economic inactivity is relatively high in comparison to other areas of England. While this figure is somewhat impacted by the high student population density in the borough, residents with low or no education are the most likely to be unemployed.
Casinos provide good job opportunities for those with less professional experience of academic achievement. Many jobs within these venues require only on-the-job training and therefore they are accessible to those who need to find work quickly. Camden’s geographical location in the centre of London means that reaching the area for work is much easier in comparison to more remote areas. Therefore, placing venues, such as casinos, that employ high volumes of staff in Camden is also helpful in the provision of accessible employment opportunities.
Tourists are drawn into the borough to enjoy gambling pursuits
Another economic impact of casinos comes from the amount of local tourism they generate in the area. Tourism generates over £1.2 billion in Camden borough. 58 percent of this is from accommodation, such as hotel booking, 25 percent from retail spending and 10 percent from bars and restaurants.
When people plan a trip to one of the area’s great gambling destinations, they are also spending money on other aspects of their trip. They will visit restaurants for dinner, bars for drinks and may stay overnight in a hotel. During their trip they are likely to use taxis or public transport and if visiting for more than one evening, they are likely to do some shopping, check out the markets and venture out to other parts of the city. Therefore, businesses across a number of sectors and benefiting either directly or indirectly from the casino’s presence.
The impact of online casinos
Land based casinos no longer have to only compete with one another. Over the last decade, the number of online casino operators has risen dramatically. Web and mobile based casino games allow players to enjoy their favourite games from the comfort of their own home. Players can switch between games and websites with ease and can play whenever suits them.
While these online operators have made the gambling industry even more competitive, they will never act as a complete replacement for land-based casinos. Visiting a physical casino offers a bigger and more exciting experience for customers. They are a great, sociable place to visit for a special occasion or night out with friends. This is certainly the case for casinos in Camden. Alongside the quirky bars, world-class theatre performances and diverse restaurants, they form an essential part of the lively, entertainment scene in the borough.