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AGA: US gambling revenue set for record year after lucrative Q3

| By Richard Mulligan
US commercial gambling remains on course for a record year as revenue of $16.17bn (€14.9bn/£13.0bn) was generated during the third quarter.
illegal gambling

Figures released by the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) for the three months to 30 September show US gambling revenue was up 6.1% year-on-year. This was the 11th straight quarter of annual revenue growth and the best third quarter on record.

Industry revenue grew year-on-year across all verticals, with land-based casino and igaming generating all-time quarterly records. As expected, the industry’s pace of growth slowed for a second consecutive quarter due to tougher year-on-year comparisons.

The AGA’s report measured 33 commercial gaming jurisdictions operational one year ago and where complete data was available through September. In total, 17 experienced an increase in third quarter revenue from 2022. Five states set new single-quarter records including Nevada and New Jersey, the country’s two largest commercial gaming markets.

US sports wagering revenue boosted by new markets

Combined traditional slot machine and table game revenue reached $12.49bn for the quarter. This was up 1.8% year-on-year, while igaming grossed $1.52bn, up 26% year-on-year.

Combined in-person and online sports betting also recorded a strong quarter, with revenue up 22.8% year-on-year to $2.15bn.

This revenue growth was mostly driven by Maryland (online), Massachusetts, Nebraska and Ohio – states that were not operational a year ago. Sports betting is set for a new record year with Americans wagering $79bn through the first nine months of 2023. This totals a 32.7% increase from last year.

Revenue growth in total land-based gaming accelerated from 0.9% in the previous quarter to 1.5% in Q3, reaching a total of $12.61bn.

Simultaneously, the annual revenue gains for total online gaming – igaming and online sports betting – slowed to 26.9% in Q3 from 44.4% in Q2. Combined revenue from online sports betting and igaming totalled $3.52bn. This accounted for 21.8% of total commercial gaming revenue in Q3 – the lowest share since Q3 2022.

US gambling welcomes “sustained momentum” for revenue

AGA president and CEO Bill Miller welcomed the figures collated by the group’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.

The tracker provides state-by-state and cumulative insight into the US commercial gaming industry’s financial performance based on state revenue reports. 35 states and the District of Columbia featured operational commercial gaming markets in Q3 2023 with legal casino gaming, sports betting or igaming.

Miller said: “We are delivering career opportunities for millions of Americans and strong economic contributions to communities across the country through increased tax revenue. Our sustained momentum reflects gaming as a first-choice entertainment option for millions of American adults.

“Americans continue to migrate their action to the protections of legal, regulated sportsbooks in record numbers. This sustained demand only reinforces the need for federal and state enforcement against illegal, offshore operators.”

AGA: big numbers in Nevada and New Jersey

In Nevada, gaming revenue grew 2.9% year-on-year, reaching $3.88bn. The surge was propelled by a record-breaking quarter for Strip casinos ($741.2m). The period also saw the highest baccarat win in state history: $458.4m, a 50.1% increase year-on-year.

Meanwhile, New Jersey’ highest-ever gaming win of $1.56bn, up 8.6%, came amid quarterly highs for igaming ($469.6m) and betting ($268.2m). Atlantic City casinos experienced their second-best quarter ever for land-based slot machines and table games ($816.8m).

Among states with year-on-year quarterly declines, most states saw low single digit percentage drops. The sports betting-only markets of Montana (-6.9%), New Hampshire (-18.7%) and Washington, DC (-33.2%) experienced the sharpest declines.

State and local governments in gaming states saw an influx of direct gaming taxes in the third quarter. Commercial gaming operators paid an estimated $3.43bn in taxes tied directly to gaming revenue, an increase of 4.7% year-on-year.

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