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US Online Casinos’ Blazing-Hot Start to 2024 Might Be Starting to Cool Off

The annual growth rate for US iGaming revenue experienced an unusual acceleration in February and March, but has begun to come back down.

US online casino revenue is starting to cool off a little following a hot streak.
Alex Weldon Avatar
7 mins read

The pace of US online casino growth has generally been slowing down since 2021, but that trend dramatically reversed itself in February and March this year. With most regulators now having reported the revenue numbers for April 2024, we see a drop in the annual growth rate that may signal that this anomalous period of acceleration is at an end.

US online casinos across all markets earned $656 million in April.

Daily average revenue dropped more than 5% from March, which could prove to be the worst single-month change we see in 2024. April is traditionally the point at which the summer slump begins for iGaming and sports betting. However, the sharpest drops for online casinos usually come only later in the season.

That dip has brought the annual growth rate down to 23.6%. Even that is higher than the growth rate in all but three months of 2023. However, it’s a significant drop from 26.4% in February, which was the highest rate seen in nearly a year.

The market is still outperforming expectations. Full-year revenue growth for 2022 was 34.8%, which dropped 12 percentage points to 22.8% in 2023. My projection for 2024 was a further drop to 19.3%, but every month except January has beaten the forecast by a substantial margin.

Pennsylvania leads the Big Three states in annual growth and revenue with $212 million in April, up 26.9% year-on-year. Its performance has been in keeping with the forecast, however, while other states have been faring better than expected.

What’s Behind Online Casinos’ Hot Performance?

The overall trend of a slowdown in growth is easy to explain. The legalization of iGaming created a lot of buzz, and the shutdown of retail casinos during COVID-19 drove players to online casinos in record numbers. As those effects subside, it’s natural that customer acquisition slows down.

The short-term reversal of that trend is more puzzling. One explanation might be the rapid growth of FanDuel Casinowhich has overtaken DraftKings and BetMGM as market leader — at least in those states where the figures for individual brands are available.

FanDuel’s annual growth through the first four months of 2024 has been between 60-70% in states where that information is available. That’s about a 10 percentage point acceleration from its growth rate in early 2023. At that time, it held about 20% of the market, so it could perhaps account for 2 percentage points of the market’s acceleration.

However, that assumes that FanDuel has gotten better at acquiring fresh customers or convincing its existing clientele to spend more. Some of its acceleration could come from pulling customers away from its rivals. Moreover, FanDuel’s growth rate peaked last summer, while the hottest period for the total market came later.

Timing-wise, a macroeconomic explanation seems more likely. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq indices were on a tear from late October until about mid-February but have since tapered off.  That coincides quite closely with the acceleration in the growth of online casino spending.

Here’s what growth rates have looked like for the biggest online casino markets since October 2023.
PAMINJUSA
Oct-2323.2%13.7%13.4%18.5%
Nov-2323.1%20.5%17.7%21.9%
Dec-2322.4%18.7%19.3%22.1%
Jan-2418.1%18.3%19.8%20.7%
Feb-2428.1%22.5%22.9%26.4%
Mar-2428.4%25.2%19.0%25.8%
Apr-2426.9%21.1%16.8%23.7%

Online Gambling Revenue Highlights — April 2024

Pennsylvania

  • PA online casinos and poker rooms won $212.2 million in April 2024, up 26.9% year-on-year. That’s only a small slowdown from 28.4% in March.
  • The daily average revenue was $7.1 million, down 5.9% from March. While not as bad as the January dip, it’s the third-biggest drop the state has seen in the past 12 months.
  • Pennsylvania remains the state most aligned with PlayUSA’s revenue projections. Its April performance was within 0.2% of the forecast, and year-to-date it is outperforming expectations by a mere 0.8%. 
  • Most operators shared in the market’s decline. One notable exception is Mohegan Sun, whose revenue surged 29% amid the switch from the now-departed Unibet to the Mohegan house brand. That change happened late in the month, so it remains to be seen if the gains came due to excitement about the new brand, or Unibet players gambling off the remaining funds in their accounts before the shutdown.
  • Another bright spot was Bally’s, which increased its revenue by 9.8% and exceeded a 2% market share for the first time.

Michigan

  • Michigan online casino sites earned $192.9 million in April 2024, up 21.1% year-on-year. At 4.1 percentage points, that’s a bigger drop than Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
  • Even so, Michigan continues to close the per capita revenue gap with New Jersey, at about $19.20 per resident in April compared to $20 for the Garden State. It’s likely that Michigan will become the top-performing state by that metric before the year is out.
  • Daily average revenue for Michigan was $6.4 million, down 7.3% month-on-month. This, too, was the biggest drop among the Big Three states and Michigan’s worst month since May 2023.
  • Michigan beat its forecasted April revenue by 2.4%, but this is much closer to the projection than the 10.7% margin last month. Year-to-date, it is now 4.7% ahead of that projection.
  • Golden Nuggets extreme volatility continued with a 57.5% revenue drop in April. That brings its market share down to 1.5%, lower than Fanatics or PokerStars. As recently as October it had been north of 4%, and it still holds close to that much of the New Jersey market, so it’s hard to say what’s going on.
  • WynnBet’s decline in advance of its upcoming market exit continued, with a drop of nearly 60%. Its share of revenue has dwindled to just 1.2% from a peak of 5.4% in the market’s early days.

New Jersey

  • NJ online casino and poker sites collected $187.9 million in April, an 18.2% annual increase. Its growth rate has remained consistently within the range of 18% to 20% since December, except for a one-month spike to 27.9% in February.
  • Its daily average revenue held at $6.3 million, down only 1.6% from March.
  • New Jersey is ahead of the projection by 3.7% for April and 5.1% year-to-date.
  • There was little movement in market share except for BetMGM Casinowhich had a good month, increasing its daily revenue by 8.2% while most competitors declined, and adding more than one full percentage point to its share, now 12.3%.
  • Jackpocket Casino, though small, is off to a promising start, doubling its revenue in April and looking likely to hit 1% market share in May.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut’s online casino duopoly pulled in $41.5 million in April 2024, up 30.4% from 2023. Unlike most other states, that represents an improvement over March, when the growth rate was 28.1%.
  • The state’s daily average revenue held at $1.4 million, down 3.2% month-on-month.
  • Connecticut remains the only state performing below its forecast. It fell short of the April projection by 6.8% and trails by 2.6% year-to-date.
  • The tug-of-war between DraftKings Casino and the Mohegan-FanDuel partnership continued with DraftKings increasing its daily average promotional spending by 18.5% and pulling nearly 4 percentage points of market share back from its rival. DraftKings earned 55.2% of the revenue in the state for April.

West Virginia

  • WV online casinos slumped to $17.8 million in April, only barely ahead of February in dollar terms and lower as a daily average. Year-on-year, that’s still a 36.6% increase, but not as impressive as 45.0% in March.
  • Daily average revenue dropped below $600,000 and the month-on-month decline was 11.1%, the worst of any state.
  • Despite all that, West Virginia continues to beat the projection by a significant margin. Its April revenue was 8.0% higher than the forecast, and it’s 8.1% ahead of the projection year-to-date.
  • Although skins on the Greenbrier license saw daily average revenue drop 8.0%, its rival Charles Town fell harder, by 15.0%. That means Greenbrier has narrowly reclaimed the top spot in market share. Its skins include FanDuel, BetMGM and Golden Nugget Casino, while Charles Town hosts DraftKings, Fanatics and Hollywood Casino.

Delaware

  • Delaware experienced its first dip in monthly revenue since switching to BetRivers, coming in at $4.4 million. Year-on-year that’s still a 243% improvement over the old 888-powered sites, more than the 224.7% growth rate in March.
  • Daily average revenue was just shy of $150,000, down 1% from March.
  • The share of Delaware revenue coming from online slots keeps rising and is now 74.2%. The switch from 888 to BetRivers precipitated a swing from over 80% under 888 to under 70% in BetRivers’ first month. However, it looks as if the novelty of the latter’s table games may be wearing off and the ratio is gravitating back toward where it was.

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island’s sole online casino, Bally’s, earned $2.1 million in April.
  • As a daily average, that’s an increase of 78% from March.
  • Though quickly growing, Rhode Island’s revenue is still only half of the PlayUSA forecast and even further behind the projection that state lawmakers had been provided with.
  • Live dealer table games accounted for 35% of revenue in April, so the lack of purely digital table games doesn’t seem to be hurting Bally’s much.

US Online Gambling Revenue Summary Table

StateGGR - April 2024Monthly ChangeAnnual ChangeMonth vs. ForecastFull Year TotalYear vs. Forecast
Pennsylvania$212,212,615-5.9%+26.9%-0.2%$849,891,534+0.8%
Michigan$192,933,491-7.3%+21.1%+2.4%$778,001,340+4.7%
New Jersey$187,879,067-1.6%+18.2%+3.7%$747,381,467 +5.1%
Connecticut$41,483,840 -3.2%+30.4%-6.8%$170,987,254-2.6%
West Virginia$17,797,826 -11.1%+36.6%+8.0%$72,305,523+8.1%
Delaware$4,438,542-1.0%+243.1%+195.9%$16,348,708+172.5%
Rhode Island$2,081,358+77.7%N/A-50.2%$3,291,905-52.3%
US Total$656,530,765-5.3%+23.5%+1.5%$2,638,207,731+3.3%

Notes on the Data

  • Raw data for this article comes from reports issued by the state regulators: the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Michigan Gaming Control Board, West Virginia Lottery, Delaware Lottery, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
  • 2024 online gambling revenue projections are original calculations performed by Alex Weldon as a collaboration between Bonus.com and PlayUSA. Please cite PlayUSA and Alex Weldon if reporting projected numbers or market performance compared to the projections.
  • Monthly growth figures are adjusted for the number of days in the month. That is, they represent the change in daily average revenue, not full-month gross revenue.
  • West Virginia reports revenue weekly, not monthly. Its monthly totals are an estimate, assuming that revenue for partial weeks is distributed evenly between the seven days.
  • Pennsylvania only reports adjusted revenue (gross revenue, less promotional spending). Gross slots revenue is calculated by subtracting payouts from wagers, but no such data is available for table games and poker. Therefore, actual gross revenue is probably somewhat higher than what we report.

Previous Monthly Trends

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