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US gaming revenue tops $66.5bn for third consecutive record year

| By Kyle Goldsmith
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed US gross gaming revenue (GGR) reached an all-time high of $66.5bn (£52.7bn/€61.6bn) in 2023, the market’s third straight record year.
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2023’s total was a 10% hike on 2022’s figure of $60.4bn, which in turn was a significant increase on the $53bn accumulated in 2021.

The strong numbers were aided by a record Q4. This included an all-time high quarterly revenue of $17.4bn, while a record $6.2bn in revenue was generated.

Land-based casinos continue to perform well with a record GGR of $49.4bn in 2023. This was up 3.3% year-on-year, with 19 of the 27 traditional gaming markets recording all-time highs in annual revenue.

Sports betting also demonstrated impressive growth, with $119.8bn in handle and $10.9bn in revenue – both records. These figures were up 27.8% and 44.5% respectively year-on-year.

With the National Indian Gaming Commission’s addition of tribal gaming revenue coming later this year, the US’ total GGR for 2023 is expected to approach $110bn.

Bill Miller, AGA president and chief executive, said: “From the traditional casino experience to online options, American adults’ demand for gaming is at an all-time high.

“Sustaining our momentum will take unified industry efforts around combating pernicious illegal operators and growing responsible gambling efforts in tandem with the growth of the legal market – both of which the AGA is committed to lead on throughout 2024.”

igaming looking increasingly attractive in US

Igaming is legal in just six US states currently. However, that number is expected to grow in the near future with the sector showing impressive growth.

2023 online casino revenue in the US was up 22.9% year-on-year, reaching $6.2bn. Igaming GGR was just $4.75bn behind sports betting GGR. This is despite igaming being legal in less than a sixth of the states as sports betting.

Online gaming made up 24.7% of nationwide GGR in 2023. Again, this is an annual high and up from 19.5% the previous year.

A number of states are looking at introducing igaming in 2024. One that looks unlikely to have it legalised this year, however, is New York after governor Kathy Hochul left igaming out of her 2025 executive budget.

This came despite New York state senator Joseph Addabbo’s filing of a revised igaming bill. Senate Bill S8185 built on Addabbo’s previous attempt to introduce online gaming in the Empire State.

Easing of igaming cannibalisation fears

Some quarters have previously believed that the legalisation of igaming can have a harmful effect on the performance of land-based casinos.

However, a fresh report commissioned by the iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA) has identified that online casino instead has a positive impact on land-based casinos.

The report compared the compound quarterly growth rates (CQGR) of land-based casino GGR before and after online casino was introduced. It noted each of the six states studied experienced a positive change in quarterly growth after igaming came into play.

EKG carried out a survey on casino operators, both land-based and online, as part of the research. It stated “the response from participants has been unanimous: cannibalisation has not been occurring”.

When asked about the impact online casino had had on land-based revenue, 20% of participants said it had “moderately increased”. Some 80% said it had “stayed roughly the same”.

To the question “How would you describe the impact the introduction of online casino has on land-based casino revenue?”, 100% of respondents said they did not believe cannibalisation fears are valid.

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