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Tourism and Travel: A Research Guide

Gaming & Gambling

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Tropicana Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. between 1980 and 1990. Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Gambling has long been part of the American landscape. Since the1930's gambling in Las Vegas has seen a steady rise in participation and economic impact. Not only do casino visitors just visit for a day, many are traveling distances for a gambling vacation and increasingly want other types of entertainment. This has led many casinos to offer concert venues and shows, spas, and other amenities for broader appeal.

The traditional hubs of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno now complete with the rise of other locations including the rapidly expanding destinations run by the various Native American tribes. In the United States, the largest markets are:

  • Las Vegas Strip
  • Atlantic City
  • Chicagoland, Ind./Ill.
  • New York
  • Detroit

The gradual spread of gambling and casinos throughout the U.S. not only reflects the participation of Native Americans in this industry but also reflects the fact that many states have loosened restrictions on casinos and legalized sports betting in the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court decision in the New Jersey case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. This has meant the rise of other top locations including Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Mississippi Gulf Coast, St. Louis, The Poconos (PA), Boulder Strip, Kansas City (Kan. and Mo.), Reno/Sparks, NV, Black Hawk/Central City, CO, Tunica/Lula, MS, and in Louisiana, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Bossier City. You can use our Doing Company Research guide to research individual companies and locales.

Below we have included a few titles that are historical in nature but most focus predominantly on the current industry. You can use our Doing Industry Research guide for more information on search strategies and using SIC/NAICS codes in industry research specifically with relation to Census data.

Casinos (except casino hotels)
SIC 7999 / NAICS 713210

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating gambling facilities that offer table wagering games along with other gambling activities, such as slot machines and sports betting. These establishments often provide food and beverage services. Included in this industry are floating casinos (i.e., gambling cruises, riverboat casinos).

Casino hotels
SIC 7011 / NAICS 721120

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging in hotel facilities with a casino on the premises. The casino on premises includes table wagering games and may include other gambling activities, such as slot machines and sports betting. These establishments generally offer a range of services and amenities, such as food and beverage services, entertainment, valet parking, swimming pools, and conference and convention facilities.

Print Resources

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available. Also, see the General Resources section as some of the books included there get into specific areas as part of the larger sector.

Internet Resources

Researching the modern industry will require looking to the industry related web resources.  Below are a few of note.  Many of the accounting/consulting firms like Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PWC publish their own industry analysis either for the United States or with an international focus, but they are not included below.