LEBANON, Ohio: The American Gaming Association says gambling supports nearly 20,000 jobs and generates $3.6 billion in economic activity in Ohio.

The Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group released its new Casinos & Communities research for Ohio on Wednesday during a visit to and roundtable discussion at the Miami Valley Gaming racino.

The event was part of the association’s “Get to Know Gaming” campaign, which aims to educate local leaders about gambling’s role in 40 states across the country.

The research says Ohio’s 11 commercial gambling sites — four casinos and seven racinos — support 19,953 jobs and pay $804 million in wages, along with $594 million in taxes.

“Throughout the state, the gaming industry is an engine of innovation for communities and its partners,” association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a prepared statement. “We are engaging and supporting area small businesses, creating new partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and providing good jobs that pave a path to the middle class for workers of all backgrounds.”