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AGA Says Commercial Gaming Revenue Eclipses 2022 Record In 2023 By 10%

Written By Derek Helling on February 20, 2024 - Last Updated on February 22, 2024
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In each of the past three years, commercial gambling revenue in the United States ascended to a new, seemingly insurmountable high. In each of those years, the insurmountable was, in fact, mounted and surpassed.

According to the American Gaming Association’s accounting, revenue from legal non-tribal gambling operations in the US rose to $66.5 billion in 2023, eclipsing a record sum in 2022 by a full 10%. The greatest year-over-year gains in that revenue came from the nation’s online gambling operators.

Commercial gaming revenue swells to new record in 2023

While the overall commercial gambling industry hit a new record high for revenue in 2023, it wasn’t a case of one facet dragging the rest of it to that new threshold. Each individual component of the industry also had a record year on a national basis.

The AGA reports that revenue from slots and table games at physical gaming establishments saw increases of over 3%. Altogether, such gaming produced $49.3 billion in revenue over the course of 2023. If you add in revenue from physical sportsbooks, that number climbs to over $50 billion.

Legal online sports betting revenue increased by over 44% year-over-year, and there are still some numbers to come in. Arizona has not reported its December revenue, while Kentucky has yet to share numbers from September through December. With those reports outstanding, the current sum is $10.9 billion.

Legal online casino play accounted for almost 23% more revenue in 2023 than it did in 2022. The final tally on that revenue is $6.17 billion. From all these licensed gaming sources, municipalities and states collected over $14.4 in fees and taxes.

Aiding all these record numbers were less substantial but still legitimate monthly and quarterly records in 2023.

December, Q4 establish records of their own

Again, with some sports betting numbers still pending, December 2023 was the strongest single month ever for commercial gaming in the US in terms of revenue. The total from all sources reached over $6.2 billion for those 31 days.

That performance assisted in the final quarter of 2023 also establishing a new revenue record. With more than $17.4 billion in revenue, Q4 2023 now stands as the most lucrative single quarter ever for commercial US gambling.

Just like there was growth across all segments of the industry and throughout the year, this growth was not isolated to one region of the nation. Gambling establishments in many states enjoyed record revenue of their own.

Multiple jurisdictions celebrate new individual revenue records

The AGA says that 28 out of 35 US legal gambling jurisdictions saw new overall revenue records in 2023. Furthermore, 31 out of 35 saw increased revenue sums even if those totals didn’t represent new annual records.

All that growth didn’t just come from online gambling, either. The AGA points out that 15 states saw their revenue from physical casinos set new records for a single year. When it came to online casinos in various US jurisdictions, all six with active apps established new revenue records for a single year.

Amid that comparison, however, there was some jostling. Michigan took over the top spot for online casino revenue in 2023, narrowly ousting New Jersey from that perch. While the past three years of data suggests the expectation should be for even higher highs in 2024, there might be some cause for hesitation there.

Will 2024 mark a fourth consecutive year of record revenue?

Overall, there are some reasons to buy and some reasons to sell the premise that 2024 will see yet another commercial gambling revenue record in the US. The first conversation in this regard is expansion opportunities.

For online gambling, 2023 saw the launch of legal sports betting in Maine, Kentucky, and Ohio. While 2024 has already seen the launch of the same in Vermont, the only planned launch for the rest of the year right now is North Carolina.

Bally’s online casino will also go live in Rhode Island around the same time. Thus, there is some planned expansion ahead, but it might not compare with the growth in opportunity that legal commercial gambling saw in 2023.

For that reason, to match and surpass 2023’s performances, commercial gambling operators in the US could have to rely more on maximizing value where they are already at and competing with other entertainment choices. Capitalizing on opportunities like Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas are therefore paramount in this endeavor.

With Nevada sportsbooks seeing record dollars bet on the Super Bowl this year and New Jersey hitting a new January record for online casino revenue, there is some reason to hope for a new national commercial gambling revenue record in 2024. Looking at recent returns, it would be unwise to bet against it.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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