2021 was a monumental year for gaming. The industry recovered in record-setting fashion as gaming continued to expand across geographies and verticals. We strengthened our responsible gaming efforts and, most importantly, we supported our communities through their own pandemic recovery.
With 2021 now in the rear view and the year’s final revenue reports filtering in, here are the numbers that tell the story of gaming’s recovery:
Forty-four states now offer some form of commercial or tribal gaming, with commercial gaming expanding to Arizona, Connecticut, Virginia and Wyoming for the first time in 2021.
The U.S. commercial gaming industry generated more than $50 billion in gaming revenue for the first time ever, shattering the previous record of $44 billion set in 2019.
Americans legally wagered more than $55 billion on sports in 2021, generating over $4 billion in revenue.
By year’s end, 130 million American adults lived in states with live, legal sports betting.
Three states—Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania—generated more than $1 billion each in iGaming revenue. Prior to 2021, no state had reached that milestone.
Casinos in 10 states now offer digital payment options on the casino floor, giving consumers payment choice, bolstering responsible gaming tools and adding transparency to transactions.
Responsible gaming messaging reached more people, with nearly 80 percent of gamblers aware of at least one responsible gaming resource.
At least 153 casinos across 31 states supported the health and safety of their communities by serving as Covid-19 vaccination sites in 2021.
While it’s too soon to tell if 2022 will match last year’s revenue numbers, there’s reason for optimism for another great year for gaming to come. As we head into the year, American Gaming Association member CEOs are positive about the future direction of the industry: three-quarters expect to increase the pace of hiring and nearly half expect the short-term business situation to improve even further.
We expect this year will see Americans continue to select casinos as their first-choice entertainment destination, payments modernization accelerate, millions more Americans gain access to the safety of the legal sports betting market and gaming grow its commitment to its communities in new and unique ways.
The AGA will also continue to do its part to drive gaming’s full recovery by championing the industry in Washington, D.C., leading on responsible gaming and communicating the important contributions of gaming companies to their communities. Working together, 2022 is set to be another remarkable year for gaming.