US Gambling Sector Broke Q3 Revenue Records, Trade Group Reports

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The U.S. gambling sector reached unprecedented heights in the third quarter of 2023, according to the latest quarterly report from leading industry trade group the American Gaming Association.

Revenues soared to a historic $16.17 billion across regulated online and offline gambling operations. That figure includes sports betting, casinos, and daily fantasy sports.

This performance marks the 11th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

This record-breaking quarter is a testament to the sustained expansion and diversification of the industry across the U.S. The famous Nevada casinos in Las Vegas, in particular, have had a very good quarter, with record numbers of visitors to Sin City over the period.

This report does not include tribal casinos, which report via their own trade groups. They bring in around $10 billion a quarter (based on 2022’s full year figures).

“With growth across land-based and online gaming, we are delivering career opportunities for millions of Americans and strong economic contributions to communities across the country through increased tax revenue,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller in the report.

“Our sustained momentum reflects gaming as a first-choice entertainment option for millions of American adults.”

Offline Casinos Still Dominate, Online Growing Fast

The revenue from physical casino gaming alone grew by 1.8% year-over-year to $12.49 billion, setting a new high.

This growth was fueled by a notable increase in both slot machine and table game revenues, which witnessed their individual quarterly records. Slot machine revenue grew by 1.7% to $8.98 billion, while table games experienced a 3.8% increase to $2.64 billion​​​​.

In the third quarter, online casino revenue reached $1.52 billion, a 22.6% increase compared to the same quarter in 2022, setting a new record for single-quarter revenue for the sector.

Online casinos in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were at the forefront, setting new quarterly revenue records.

The total revenue for online casinos for the first nine months of 2023 stood at $4.49 billion, indicating the potential for a record-breaking yearly figure.

This is also without a single new state legalizing online casinos in this period. Rhode Island became the only state so far in 2023 to legalize online casino gaming. But the market won’t launch until next year. It also will only have one legal operator, a collaboration between Rhode Island-based Bally’s, International Game Technology and the state’s Lottery.

Sports Betting Also Booming

Sports betting also continued its robust performance over the quarter, with revenue reaching $2.15 billion. That marks a 22.8% year-on-year increase.

This growth was significantly driven by new markets like sports betting in Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Ohio. The overall sports betting handle in the U.S. reached $78.67 billion, a 22.9% increase year-over-year, indicating a continued upward trajectory for this sector​​​​.

During this period, Kentucky launched its sports betting market, with Governor Andy Beshear (D) placing the first wager. Kentucky retail sportsbooks opened on September 7, and online operators opened 3 weeks later.

Fans of online sports betting in the Bluegrass State wagered a total of $68 million in the opening weekend of online and retail wagering.

Throughout the booming quarter, New York sports betting remained the nation’s biggest market. It consistently hit billion dollar months throughout the period,

Economic Contributions and Worker’s Share

The gambling sector’s growth has had substantial economic implications, particularly in terms of tax contributions. And, more recently, better contracts for many casino workers.

Commercial gaming operators paid an estimated $3.43 billion in taxes directly tied to gaming revenue, reflecting a 4.7% increase year-over-year.

These contributions are a crucial part of the industry’s impact on state and local economies.

However, this consistent uptick in revenues from U.S gambling operators has not gone unnoticed by employees.

Some 60,000 unionized workers at the famous casino of Las Vegas almost walked out on strike earlier this month over stalled negotiations on new contracts.

Last-minute deals reached by Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, and MGM Resorts International averted the strike action, with significant pay increases for workers.

Workers at the three Michigan casinos in Detroit actually did go on strike for nearly a month, including asking for a boycott of online casinos. It was only this week that a tentative agreement was reached on new contracts, with significant pay rises and improved benefits expected.

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