2017 Was A Record Year For Commercial Casinos In The US, Report Says

Written By Martin Derbyshire on August 28, 2018 - Last Updated on March 25, 2022

With revenues of more than $40 billion and taxes paid in excess of $9 billion, the American Gaming Association (AGA) says 2017 was a record year for the commercial casino industry in the US.

The AGA released its State of the States 2018: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry report last week, showing commercial casinos in the US posted $40.3 billion in gaming revenue. This represented an increase of 3.4 percent over 2016 and the first time ever that commercial casino gaming revenue surpassed $40 billion.

Breaking down the AGA State of the States

The AGA report also showed 20 of 24 US states with commercial casinos saw year-over-year revenue increases in 2017. Additionally, these 11 states posted record numbers:

According to the report, the 460 commercial casinos across the country, operating in 24 states, paid a record $9.2 billion in gaming taxes last year. This figure also represented a 3.1 percent increase over 2016.

According to the AGA report, commercial casino growth in the US last year included the opening of three new commercial casinos in New York state, one in Kansas and several casinos beginning or completing major renovations or expansions across the country. The report also dissects new gaming technology and changes in sports betting.

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Public policy developments

Of course, public policy developments affecting the industry in 2017 included Pennsylvania’s major gaming expansion, which included legalizing online gambling and authorizing the opening of up to ten satellite casino properties.

In its executive summary, the report also identified several challenges the industry is facing this year. Most surrounded the impact of intensifying competition in states, including:

  • Maryland, where the opening of a sixth casino in 2016 drove statewide revenue to record highs, but splintered the figures, causing several casinos to report declines
  • New York, where new commercial casinos are helping create record statewide revenue numbers that are still less than projected individually
  • Massachusetts, where two new commercial casinos are opening in 2018 and 2019, reshaping the competitive landscape in the New England area
  • New Jersey, where two commercial casinos reopened in 2018, testing the strength of Atlantic City’s recent recovery from a decade of declines
  • Pennsylvania, where a major expansion will take shape in 2018 and 2019

The highest grossing states in the country

Finally, the report showed Maryland as the state with the largest percentage increase in annual gross gaming revenue. It moved up 34.2 percent from $1.2 billion in 2016 to $1.6 billion last year.

However, Nevada continued to be the highest grossing state in the country in terms of gaming revenue. It reported a whopping $11.5 billion in gaming revenue last year. There were gains in gambling in Florida, but no other state was even close. However, Pennsylvania did hold on to second place with $3.2 billion.

New Jersey kept third place with $2.7 billion. States including New York ($2.3 billion), Indiana ($2.2 billion), and Mississippi ($2.08 billion) all posted over $2 billion in revenue. As a result, they continue to pose threat to New Jersey’s position as third in the country. But NJ’s quick rollout of sports betting likely means it will be holding on in the immediate future.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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