US Commercial Casinos Rake In $66.5B in Best Year Ever

Land Based Casinos Sportsbooks/Bookmakers Business
Edward Scimia

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Edward Scimia

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Last Updated on 14th March 2024, 07:22 AM

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US Commercial Casinos Rake In $66.5B in Best Year Ever

Every gambler knows that the house always wins. But 2023 took gambling earnings to a whole new level, as commercial casinos in the United States collected a record $66.5 billion in winnings during the year.

That marks the highest earnings total ever for American casinos, beating the previous record – set in 2022 – by a full 10 percent, according to the American Gaming Association.

Slots Lead the Way, Sports Betting Shines

The growth was fueled by a combination of improved results from traditional sectors and the emergence of newer forms of gaming. 

Slot machines continue to be the biggest winners for casinos, earning $35.51 billion in 2023. Table games also remain a major contributor, generating $10.31 billion in revenue. Both of those numbers were up over three percent over the previous year. 

But the most robust growth sector was sports betting. Five more states added legalized sports wagering in 2023, which helped bring revenues up to $10.92 billion for the sector. That total was up 44.5% from a year earlier. New York led all states in sports betting revenues with $1.69 billion in profit.

“As a form of entertainment, legal sports betting might be a new and novel experience for many patrons,” Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, told the Associated Press. “With its relatively low cost of entry, [sports betting] may be attractive to them even if their discretionary spending budget is limited.”

Online gambling in general also continued to grow. Internet gaming brought in $6.17 billion last year, a 22.9% increase compared to 2022. Michigan barely outpaced New Jersey to become the largest benefactor of online gaming, with both states bringing in approximately $1.92 billion. 

Still, live gaming at land-based casinos remains the biggest source of gambling revenue for now. That means Nevada is still the epicenter of the industry in the United States, taking in $15.5 billion in gaming revenue this year. That nearly triples its closest competition in Pennsylvania ($5.86 billion) and Atlantic City ($5.77 billion). 

Inflation Doesn’t Stop Americans from Betting

The continued growth shows that the appetite for gambling remains strong, even in the face of higher prices on groceries, energy, and other essentials. As inflation continues to cool, that could signal even stronger years to come for the American gaming industry.

“Inflation was high, uncertainty was in the air. Forecasters couldn’t agree what these challenges might do to discretionary income,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller told the AP. “Inflation began to cool, consumers began to spend, and the [Federal Reserve] held rates steady. The result was a record-breaking year for our industry.”

Even these numbers understate the size of the American gaming market. The totals reported by the AGA don’t include Native American casinos, which will likely report over $40 billion in profits from 2023. 

Growth is likely to continue in 2024 and beyond. Several states are considering legislation to allow legalized sports betting in their borders, including Georgia, Minnesota, and Missouri. Meanwhile, New York, Illinois, and Maryland are among the states poised to consider online gambling bills this year.  


Image: Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun / AP / Alamy

Meet The Author

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Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
Journalist Journalist

Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for About.com, Gambling.com, and Covers.com, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

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