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Gaming’s Record Year

With 2023 in the rearview, what trends will help shape 2024?

Gaming’s Record Year

As the gaming industry charges into spring, eagerly anticipating March Madness wagering, the launch of new gaming markets, and more, it’s also worth taking one last look back at the year that was for gaming. After all, what is past is prologue, and 2023 was a remarkable prologue to 2024.

As the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) latest commercial gaming revenue report shows, the industry notched an annual revenue record of $66.65 billion in 2023. The total surpasses 2022’s previous high of $60.46 billion by 10.2 percent, marking the industry’s third-straight record revenue year.

What are the factors driving this sustained success, and what do they promise for the industry’s trajectory moving forward? In honor of three straight record-breaking years, let’s examine a trio of trends across 2023 that will help tell the story of the next year in gaming and beyond.

Online Gaming Growth Isn’t Slowing Down Soon

Online gaming grossed $16.55 billion in 2023, a new high for the sector and up 44 percent over 2022. Beyond record revenue, online gaming’s piece of the pie also continues to expand. For the first time, online sports betting and casino gaming accounted for a quarter (24.9 percent) of total commercial gaming revenue, up from 19.2 percent in 2022. With Rhode Island rolling out full-scale iGaming and North Carolina launching mobile wagering this March, coupled with the maturation of existing online markets, this trend looks poised to endure through 2024.

Traditional Gaming Isn’t Going Anywhere

While the online sector saw significantly larger year-over-year growth, brick-and-mortar casino slots and table games also saw record revenue highs in 2023, collectively grossing $49.37 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over 2022. Both slot machine and table game revenue reached individual annual records in 2023 as well, with slot revenue growing by 3.8 percent year-over-year to $35.51 billion and table games growing by 3.5 percent to $10.31 billion.

At the state level, 19 out of the 27 states that currently offer traditional casino gaming saw an uptick in combined revenue from slot and table games compared to 2022. Impressively, 15 of these states attained new state revenue records, underscoring the widespread growth and success of the land-based casino industry across diverse regions.

Post-Pandemic Casino Visitation Trends Continue to be Favorable

The record-breaking year for traditional gaming coincided with casino visitation nearing pre-pandemic levels. According to AGA research, 41 percent of the adult U.S. population, or 102 million Americans, visited a casino for gambling or other reasons in the past year. This marks a significant increase from 34 percent in 2022 and is just shy of the 44 percent visitor rate recorded in 2019.

Meanwhile, as more Americans patronize casinos, the Covid-era demographic shift toward younger visitors continued last year, with the average casino visitor age dropping to 42 years old. Since 2020, the average age of casino patrons has consistently decreased year-over-year and is now nearly eight years younger than it was in 2019.

In all, gaming’s strong fundamentals, diversification and positive customer trends point to continued industry success in 2024. Whether we will see a fourth-straight record year is yet to be determined, but we can be sure that momentum is still on the industry’s side.

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