The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently reported that the US gambling industry is on track for a record-breaking year in 2023, following a strong performance in the third quarter.
The AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker provides state-by-state and cumulative insight into the US commercial gaming industry’s financial performance based on state revenue reports. According to the tracker, US commercial gaming revenue grew by 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2023, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.
Despite a slower pace of growth than in previous quarters, Q3 was the industry’s highest-grossing third quarter ever and the second-best single quarter for commercial gaming revenue.
In Q1, the industry reached a quarterly record of $16.60 billion, marking the industry’s eighth straight record-breaking quarter. This was followed by a strong Q2, with $16.07 billion in total revenue, an 8.1% yearly increase from Q2 2022. This marked the industry’s 10th consecutive quarter of annual growth.
In comparison, Q3 saw a slower pace of growth than the previous quarters, with US commercial gaming revenue growing by 6.1 percent. Despite this, Q3 was the industry’s highest-grossing third quarter ever and the second-best single quarter for commercial gaming revenue. The total revenue for the first nine months of 2023 stands at $48.69 billion, which is 9.9 percent higher than the same period in 2022.
This consistent growth throughout the year indicates a strong performance by the US commercial gaming industry, setting the stage for a potential record-breaking year in 2023.
State regulatory disclosures compiled by the AGA show that aggregate commercial gaming revenue generated by land-based casinos, sports betting, and iGaming reached $16.17 billion in the third quarter. Total revenue for the first nine months of 2023 stands at $48.69 billion, 9.9 percent higher than the same period in 2022. Even with potential softer Q4 revenue this year, 2023 is poised to become the third consecutive record-breaking year for the commercial gaming industry.
So, what led to this impressive growth? The answer lies in the performance of various gambling verticals and the expansion of the industry into new markets.
Land-based casinos set a quarterly record, with revenue growth accelerating from 0.9 percent in the previous quarter to 1.5 percent in Q3, reaching a total of $12.61 billion. This growth encompasses casino slots, table games, and retail sports betting. Simultaneously, the annual revenue gains for total online gaming—iGaming and online sports betting—slowed to 26.9 percent in Q3 from 44.4 percent in Q2. Combined revenue from online sports betting and iGaming totaled $3.52 billion, accounting for 21.8 percent of total commercial gaming revenue in Q3 – the lowest share since Q3 2022.
The expansion of the industry into new markets also played a significant role in the growth. Only one new market opened during the third quarter with Kentucky launching sports betting at a handful of retail locations and online. Beyond Kentucky, commercial gaming expanded in Q3 in Illinois and South Dakota with the opening of new casino properties in those states. Compared to the same period a year earlier, Q3 also featured new sports betting markets in Maryland (online expansion), Massachusetts, Nebraska (retail only), and Ohio.
State and local governments in gaming states saw an influx of direct gaming taxes in the third quarter. Commercial gaming operators paid an estimated $3.43 billion in taxes tied directly to gaming revenue, an increase of 4.7 percent year-over-year. With three quarters of the year complete, the commercial gaming industry is on track to provide a record level of tax support for state and local governments: the industry has paid approximately $10.68 billion in gaming taxes during the first nine months, 9.9 percent more than the same period in 2022.
In 2022, nearly all of the 35 jurisdictions with commercial casinos or sports betting operations saw a rise in annual gaming revenue, with only the District of Columbia, Mississippi, and South Dakota reporting a decline. Notably, Nebraska and Virginia joined the commercial casino marketplace in 2022 with the expansion of land-based casinos into each state.
Internet gambling also played a significant role in revenue growth. In July 2023, internet gambling in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia generated $481.5 million, up nearly 23% from a year ago.
The growth in each state can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the expansion of land-based casinos, the legalization of sports betting, and the growth of internet gambling. Each state has its own unique gambling landscape, and the growth in each state is influenced by factors such as the state’s regulations, the number of casinos and sports betting operations, and the popularity of gambling among residents.
In conclusion, the US gambling industry’s strong performance in 2023 can be attributed to the growth across all gambling verticals and the expansion into new markets. Despite potential softer Q4 revenue, the industry is poised for a record-breaking year, demonstrating the resilience and strength of the US gambling industry. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for US gambling.
The record-breaking revenue growth in the US gambling industry is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the sector, and it has several implications for both the average US gambler and the industry as a whole. For the average gambler, this growth could mean increased access to gambling opportunities, as states continue to expand and diversify their gambling offerings. It could also lead to more competitive odds and promotions as operators vie for market share.