AGA: Commercial gaming surpasses $60bn in annual revenue

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The American Gaming Association (AGA) has reported that the US commercial gaming industry concluded 2022 with revenue reaching a new annual record of $60.4bn.

According to data compiled for the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, this is the first time the commercial gaming industry has surpassed $60bn in GGR.

AGA CEO Bill Miller added that the industry can sustain success by “combating the illegal market, doubling down on responsibility, and creating favorable policy.”

Looking at just the fourth quarter, the sector also achieved a new all-time high in quarterly revenue, with both sports betting and igaming accomplishing new heights, and traditional gaming growing by 1.7% year-over-year.

US commercial GGR surpasses $60bn

Publishing an update to its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, the AGA declared a total revenue from commercial gaming for 2022 of $60.4bn, beating the previous best of $53bn set last year by 13.9%, and 2019’s figure by 38.5%.

Combined with tribal gaming revenue numbers, which will be reported by the National Indian Gaming Commission later this year, US gaming revenues are expected to surpass the $100bn mark for the first time.

For Q4, the AGA noted that commercial gaming finished the year strong “despite the broader economic environment and tougher comparisons to the previous year,” improving by 10.5% compared to Q4 2021 to $15.85bn.

December was also the commercial gaming industry’s single highest-grossing month on record, rising by 16.7% YoY to $5.43bn.

Miller commented: “Our industry significantly outpaced expectations in 2022. Simply put, American adults are choosing casino gaming for entertainment in record numbers, benefitting communities, and taking market share from the predatory, illegal marketplace.”

Casino revenue records

Retail gaming remained “the backbone of the industry,” accounting for 80.5% of the total annual revenue, while online gaming achieved a new share high of 19.5%.

Casino slots and table games, sports betting, and igaming all produced new revenue records in 2022, with combined slots and table games accounting for 79.3% of the total commercial gaming revenue with $47.83bn.

With 84 million Americans visiting a casino in the past year (up 6% from 2020 and 2021, but down 10% from 2019), table games grew by 13.9% to $10bn, reversing the “lingering COVID-related restrictions” of 2021, while slots increased by 5.1% to $34.19bn. Both slots and table games have improved by 15.7% and 15.1% respectively compared to 2019.

New market openings in Nebraska and Virginia alongside a rebound in visitation helped casino gaming achieve a record year. Only four states – Kansas (-0.5%), Michigan (-0.8%), Mississippi (-3.6%), and South Dakota (-2.6%) – saw their YoY decline in 2022.

The average age of casino visitors declined as well in 2022 to 42.4 years old, down from 43.6 in 2021 and 49.6 in 2019. More people are now splitting their time between gaming and other entertainment offerings compared to pre-2020.

Sports betting and igaming continue growth

Sports betting GGR unsurprisingly saw the biggest improvement YoY, growing by 72.7% to $7.5bn (2021: $4.34bn) with a new record handle of $93.2bn, 

The vertical benefited from the launch of both retail and online sports betting in Kansas, as well as online sports wagering in Louisiana, Maryland, and New York. Only Delaware (-32.3%) and Mississippi (-9.2%) saw their sports wagering handles decline YoY.

Elsewhere, igaming GGR rose by 35.2% to $5.02bn despite no new state launches during the year. The vertical also set a new quarterly record of $1.39bn in Q4, up 28.2% YoY. Each of the five igaming markets that were operational in 2021 set new annual records.

In the four states where both land-based and full online gaming options are available, the combined share of sports betting and igaming averaged 40.7%.

States rebound in 2022

An increase in gaming revenue was witnessed in 32 jurisdictions in 2022, with 29 states recording new annual records. 

Only Mississippi (-3.6%) and South Dakota (-2.2%) saw their revenues decline YoY, which the AGA says can be attributed to “dropping pandemic restrictions faster than other states,” while the sports betting market in Washington DC lost ground to neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia.

The AGA stated that markets began to stabilize in 2022 following a turbulent two years due to varying pandemic restrictions. The Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City regions retained their top commercial market positions, followed by the Baltimore-Washington DC market, Chicagoland, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

At the property level, MGM National Harbor in Maryland replaced Resorts World New York City in Queens, NY as the highest-grossing commercial casino in terms of gaming revenue outside of Nevada, as it benefited from a full year of retail sports betting, which is currently unavailable at the New York property. Atlantic City’s Borgata returned to the top three.

2023 outlook

Looking forward to the year ahead, Miller stated he is “optimistic,” but the AGA must remain focused to help the industry continue its success.

The CEO concluded: “Even as we navigate macroeconomic headwinds, I am optimistic about the year ahead. To carry our momentum into 2023, the AGA remains focused on combating the illegal market, doubling down on responsibility, and creating favorable policy and regulatory conditions that enable our industry’s sustained success.”