US Casino Market Worth Record $40.28 Billion in 2017

US Casino Market Worth Record $40.28 Billion in 2017

Since 1999, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has released its annual ‘State of the States‘ survey, which provides a comprehensive overview of the revenues and economic impact produced by those states with commercial casino operations. According to its latest findings, the 24 US states with casinos generated a record $40.28 billion in 2017, representing a 3.4% increase versus the previous year.

All told, a massive $9.23 billion was subsequently collected by way of gambling taxes, up by 3.1% year-on-year and also marking a new all-time high for the industry. Furthermore, all but four states posted year-on-year growth, with just West Virginia, Illinois, Mississippi, and New Mexico bucking the positive trend.

460 US Casinos Surveyed

The AGA survey of the USA’s commercial casino industry covered 460 casinos across the country compared to 515 locations surveyed in 2016, with the decline mostly accounted for by Nevada’s casino market shrinking from 273 to 215 last year.

A total of twenty states then returned year-on-year growth in 2017, of which twelve reached new all-time revenue records, including Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Leading the way in terms of growth was Maryland whose business soared by 34.6% mostly on account of the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor Resort which opened its doors at the end of 2016. Interestingly, West Virginia suffered the greatest decline in revenue at -4.6%, once again due to MGM’s National Harbor, which has successfully managed to draw in West Virginian gamblers living close to the Maryland border.

Top 5 Markets

Casinos were banned across America in 1919, until 1931 when Nevada re-legalized the industry and opened the country’s first regulated casino of the modern age. New Jersey followed suit in 1976, and currently there are 24 US states with commercial casino enterprises. Naturally, the Silver State is still the biggest casino market, and in 2017 accounted for $11.6 billion of revenues, up by +2.8% year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania overtook New Jersey as the country’s second largest casino state in 2012, a position it continues to occupy after generating $3.2 billion last year, higher by +0.4% versus 2016. Likewise, New Jersey with $2.66 billion (+2.1%) in revenue placed third overall, followed by New York on $2.35 billion (+16.4%), and Indiana on $2.2 billion (+1.1%).

Economic Impact

Commercial casinos supported 737,450 employees last year, of which around half represented direct positions with casino properties. A combined $17.4 billion in wages, benefits and tips was then paid out, rising to $34.3 billion once indirect jobs with vendors and support businesses are included. Commenting upon the statistics compiled by Oxford Economics, which helped produce the report, AGA CEO Stacy Papadopoulos stated:

“This year’s report demonstrates the commercial gaming industry’s role as a job creator and revenue generator in states across the country, and we’re proud of the industry’s steady growth over the past few years.”

Indian Gaming Inclusion

The AGA’s annual report primarily focuses on commercial casino operations, although it also makes use of statistics released each year by the National Indian Gaming Commission. According to the data, tribal casinos similarly saw their revenues soar to a new all-time high of $32.4 billion in 2017, marking a 3.9% improvement over 2016. As a result, a combined 1,000 or so commercial and Indian casinos across 28 states, in addition to a further 300 card rooms, collected total revenues amounting to a massive $72.6 billion last year.

Sports Betting Beckons

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the country’s gambling market a potentially huge boost after ruling that a federal sports betting ban outside of the four states excluded by PASPA violated the 10th Amendment. Already Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi have joined Nevada in offering the full range of sports wagering options, with more than a dozen others having also signaled their intention to launch legalized sports betting markets of their own.

In 2017, Nevada sports betting generated a handle of $5 billion and a hold of 5.2%, resulting in revenues amounting to $258.6 million. According to Deutsche Bank Securities analyst Carlo Santarelli, there will be an estimated 13 regulated sports betting markets in 2023 producing roughly $4 billion in annual revenue, with Eilers & Krejcik Gaming more optimistically forecasting 32 sports betting states by the same date generating a combined $6 billion.