US Commercial Casinos On Pace For Record-Setting 2017 Revenues

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The US commercial casino industry is on pace to surpass $40 billion in revenue for the second year in a row. This according to statistics compiled by the University of Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research. 

In fact, UNLV’s numbers show US commercial casinos have already earned $20.89 billion in revenue through the first six months of the year. This represents a 2.55 percent jump over 2016. Year-end commercial casino revenues across the country reached $40.5 billion in 2016.

UNLV commercial casino revenue report

UNLV’s United States Commercial Casino Gaming: Monthly Revenues report combines monthly revenue totals derived from publicly-released data from state regulatory bodies. It accounts for nearly every commercial casino and racino jurisdiction across the country.  

However, the report actually underestimates the total revenue for commercial casino operations across the United States. It does not include information from states including New Mexico, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Plus, Native American casinos are excluded from the report. As a result, it is not considered a complete representation of total casino revenues in the US.  

It is estimated there are more than 500 commercial casinos and more than 485 Native American casinos across the US. 

Nevada leads, Maryland grows

According to the report, Nevada continues to set the pace for commercial casino revenues across the country. In fact, Nevada reported more than $5.7 billion in commercial casino revenue through June 2017.

No other reporting state recorded more than $2 billion in commercial casino revenue through the first six months of the year. However, Pennsylvania was second on the list with $1.62 billion. Louisiana was third with $1.59 billion. 

The other states reporting over $1 billion in commercial casino revenues included Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York.  

Maryland was the state with the biggest gains in commercial casino revenues through the first half of the year. Revenues jumped up 37.46 percent to more than $798 million in the first six months of 2017. This comes as little surprise, with the massive $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor casino resort opening in December 2016. 

Online gambling aids New Jersey jump

While the percentage jump pales in comparison, New Jersey posted the second-biggest year-over-year gains in commercial casino revenue. In fact, the state saw commercial casino revenues climb 7.84 percent in the first six months of this year. 

The New Jersey numbers have no doubt been aided by the growing online gambling sector. In fact, New Jersey online gambling operators  posted more than $20 million in revenues in June for the fourth-straight month. Plus, New Jersey online gambling operators are on pace to surpass the record $196.7 million in online gambling revenue they generated in 2016. 

Leading up to $40 billion in commercial casino revenue

Year-end US commercial casino revenues reached $40 billion for the first time in 2016. However, the industry had been climbing towards the $40 billion milestone for the past couple of years, after a slight dip in 2013. 

According to UNLV, the year-end US commercial casino revenues for the past few years are as follows: 

  • 2015: $39.1 billion
  • 2014: $38.8 billion
  • 2013: $37.89 billion
  • 2012: $37.9 billion

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Martin Derbyshire

About

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.