Posted on: February 20, 2024, 03:25h. 

Last updated on: February 20, 2024, 03:42h.

The US commercial gaming industry reached a new annual revenue record for a third consecutive year.

commercial gaming casino revenue
A bustling Las Vegas Strip is seen in April 2023. Commercial gaming in the US reached new highs last year, as gaming revenue hit $66.5 billion. (Image: Las Vegas Sun)

The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported Tuesday that 2023 commercial revenue from brick-and-mortar casinos, riverboats, racinos, iGaming, and sports betting hit a new annual high of $66.5 billion. The mark represents a 10% year-over-year premium.

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

The 2023 gross gaming revenue (GGR) from commercial operations includes retail slot machines, table games, and sports betting, plus win generated online via internet sportsbooks and interactive casino platforms. The GGR doesn’t include gaming income from tribal casinos or lotteries.

The AGA is the preeminent trade group representing both commercial and tribal gaming interests in DC.

All Verticals Experience Gains

Commercial gaming was up across the board in 2023.

Legacy gaming, or physical slot machines and table games, combined to win $45.82 billion. Legacy revenue in 2022 was $44.19 billion, almost 4% less, or $1.63 billion.

The traditional gaming numbers suggest the ongoing expansion of online options isn’t poaching legacy play. But it’s worth noting that several states either entered the gaming industry or significantly expanded casino operations, including Illinois, Virginia, and Nebraska.

Four new casinos opened in Illinois, including Bally’s in downtown Chicago. In Virginia, Rivers Casino Portsmouth made history by being the first permanent casino to open in the commonwealth. A temporary casino from Caesars in Danville joined Hard Rock’s provisional gaming space in Bristol. Temporary casinos also opened in Nebraska.   

Sports betting, which is legal in almost 40 states, won an all-time best $10.92 billion from online and in-person bettors. Oddsmakers saw their win surge almost 45% from 2022 on a record handle of nearly $120 billion. Handle refers to the amount wagered.

iGaming, which is legal in just six states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, took more than $6.17 billion from remote players. The online slot and table game win was also a new high.

The Las Vegas Strip led the top casino markets in 2023 with GGR climbing more than 7% to $8.83 billion. Atlantic City was a distant second at $2.85 billion, a smaller 2.5% year-over-year increase. Chicagoland, inclusive of casinos in and around the Windy City and Northwest Indiana, was third at $2.19 billion.

Ups and Downs

Sports betting and the half-dozen iGaming states largely saw revenue from such gaming verticals increase, with many reporting record highs in terms of gross income. Governments were also big winners in 2023, as commercial gaming revenue generated a record $14.4 billion in state and local gaming taxes.

Gaming’s success translates directly to the success of the states, cities, and towns in which we operate,” Miller added. “We are proud to be in 47 US 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.”

Of the 25 states that have commercial casinos/racinos, 17 saw legacy play increase from 2022.

The remaining eight, however, experienced year-over-year in-person slot and table declines. Those states were Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Florida.

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