US Gambling Revenues hit $66.5B in 2023, says American Gaming Association

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The U.S. commercial gambling business (excluding tribal casinos and state lotteries) reached a third straight record year of revenues in 2023. That’s according to the newly-released 2023 report from leading gambling trade group the American Gaming Association.

Legal U.S. sports betting, online casinos, and land-based casinos totaled $65.5 billion in revenue for the year. That’s a 10% rise on the $60.4 billion made in 2022, as well as a 23% rise on 2021’s $53 billion total.

“From the traditional casino experience to online options, American adults’ demand for gaming is at an all-time high,” AGA President Bill Miller said in a release accompanying the report.

“Gaming’s success translates directly to the success of the states, cities, and towns in which we operate. We are proud to be in 47 U.S. jurisdictions, acting as economic drivers, creating jobs, and providing the funding that makes critical public education programs, infrastructure projects, problem gambling resources and more possible.”

Consistent Growth

All three core gambling sectors – sports betting, online casinos, and land-based casinos – continued to grow. However, it was online sports and casino gambling that took the headlines.

Online gambling made up 24.7% of revenues for the sector in 2023. That new record high is up from 19.7% in 2022.

Brick and mortar casinos were once again the leading revenue driver and the most popular option for U.S. gamblers in 2023. However, revenues grew far slower than online gambling, at around 3% for the year.

The leading U.S. gambling destination was still the Nevada casinos of Las Vegas, with Atlantic City and New Jersey in second, and Michigan casinos and sports betting taking the third spot.

This growth also meant record tax incomes for state and local governments. Operators paid some $14.4 billion in taxes throughout the year. That figure doesn’t include nongambling taxes, charitable donations, revenue share agreements, and employee payrolls or benefits.

Sports Betting Shines

The biggest rise in revenues was for sports betting, which was up 44.5% on 2022 for a new record of $10.92 billion.

The total handle was up 27.8%, indicating not only were more bettors placing wagers, but the ‘books were having a better time at winning as well.

This impressive growth was spurred on by the six new legal U.S. sports betting markets that went online in 2023.

Two of those had a full year to contribute to the figures, with Ohio and Massachusetts sports betting launching in January 2023. Kentucky was the next to launch, followed by a low-key launch in Nebraska and Maine sports betting in November.

Some of these results are also without two months of sports betting data from Kentucky and Arizona, which report on a different schedule to other states.

New York sports betting remained the national market leader. It made $1.697 billion in revenue over a year that included several record $1 billion handle months from the state’s bettors.

New Jersey and Illinois sports betting came in second and third place, respectively, both breaking slightly more than $1 billion in revenues each for the year.

Going into 2024, two more states legalized in 2023 – Vermont and North Carolina. Vermont sports betting launched in January 2024, and North Carolina sports betting is set to launch in March.

2023’s figures do not include the 2023/24 NFL season or Super Bowl LVIII, which broke betting records in Nevada when it was held in Las Vegas on February 11, 2024.

One interesting stat to note is the performance of the Washington D.C. sports betting market. Piling on the bad news for sole online operator Intralot, Washington D.C. had the biggest fall off in revenues of any gambling market in the country, sporting a 22% decline on 2022’s income.

Casinos Stay Strong

Meanwhile, casino revenues stayed at the top of the pack.

Despite the crazy growth of online gambling, the traditional slots, table games, and other in-person casino gambling still accounted for 75% of the year’s total revenues.

Nevada casinos, including those on the booming Las Vegas Strip, were the biggest market at a total of $15.5 billion in revenue for 2023.

Twelve of the top 20 markets reported record growth for the year. Outside of Nevada, that included casinos in Ohio and in Illinois.

The Colorado casinos of Black Hawk took the title for most growth outside of Las Vegas at $923 million in revenues, representing 3.1% growth.

The single highest revenue property outside of Nevada was Resorts World New York, followed by MGM National Harbor in Maryland near DC. Encore Boston Harbor and Atlantic City’s Borgata rounded out the list.

Online Casinos Growing Despite No New Markets

With just six states having legal online casinos all year, the sector has shown incredible popularity and growth. But until more states legalize, the market may well be approaching its ceiling.

At $6.9 billion in revenue, 2023 was up 22.9% up on 2022’s numbers.

Not one state launched online casinos in 2023, with only the Rhode Island online casinos seeing legalization for launch in 2024.

Not many have shown an appetite for it, either. Despite bills being filed in New York, Alabama, and Wyoming, fears of online operations potentially cannibalizing physical venues’ customers have kept opposition strong.

Most recently, 700 workers at the most profitable U.S. casino outside of Las Vegas, Resorts World New York, opposed efforts to legalize New York online casinos in an open letter.

Overall, online gambling-wise, Michigan online casinos and sports betting was the market leader, closely followed by New Jersey.

Despite its huge sports betting performances, without online casinos, New York didn’t quite keep up with Pennsylvania online gambling, which hit third place with $1.74 billion in revenues.

“Sustaining our momentum will take unified industry efforts around combating pernicious illegal operators and growing responsible gambling efforts in tandem with the growth of the legal market – both of which the AGA is committed to lead on throughout 2024,” said Miller.

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