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Records Fall

Revenue keeps flowing in to U.S. commercial casinos, but what did we learn?

Records Fall

As 2022 begins to draw to a close, the gaming industry’s hot streak is showing no signs of slowing down, with annual commercial gaming revenue set to shatter 2021’s record for the highest-grossing year in industry history. Through the first nine months of the year, the industry has generated more than $44 billion in revenue, up nearly 15 percent year-over-year.

What is driving this impressive run in the face of persistent concerns about the health of U.S. consumer budgets? The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker examines industry trends to answer just that question.

Here are the lessons we learned from our Q3 2022 report.

Record-Breaking Third Quarter

Q3 2022 commercial gaming revenue from brick-and-mortar casino games, sports betting and iGaming set a new single-quarter record, reaching 15.7 billion and topping $15 billion for the first time ever. While the broader U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6 percent, gaming revenue accelerated 8.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2021.

Land-Based Gaming Reaches New Highs

When the factors driving gaming’s record revenue are examined, the spotlight is often directed to the rapid rises of sports betting and iGaming, exciting gaming verticals that are still in their infancy across most of the country.

While sportsbook revenue jumped 80.6 percent year-over-year to a record $1.68 billion and iGaming revenue nearly matched its Q2 2022 record of $1.21 billion, it is still land-based casinos that are driving overall gaming revenue. In the third quarter, land-based casino slot and table games generated an all-time quarterly high of $12.27 billion in revenue, up 1.8 percent year-over-year.

Casino-Goers are Spending More

Americans have yet to return to casinos in the same numbers as before the pandemic, with recent AGA polling indicating that 34 percent of adults visited a casino in the past year (vs. 44% in 2019 and 28% in 2021), but patrons continue to make up the difference through markedly higher spending. In Q3 2022, revenue per casino admission remained well above pre-pandemic levels (37% on average) in the states that publish admissions data.

This trend has been a constant over the past two years, as casino-goers, on average, are higher income earners than before the pandemic. According to AGA survey data, 52 percent of past-year casino visitors reported a household income of more than $60,000, compared to 42 percent of all Americans. In 2019, these figures were 42 percent and 38 percent respectively.

Casino Gaming Continues to Expand

Third quarter land-based gaming revenue was further boosted by the launch of commercial casino gaming in two new states, reflecting strong interest for in-person gaming in new geographies.

On July 8, Virginia became America’s 26th state to launch land-based casino gaming when Hard Rock Bristol opened its doors to the public. The state’s first temporary location grossed $40.3 million in its inaugural quarter of partial operations, outperforming several similarly sized properties in nearby Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Subsequently, Nebraska became the 27th state with commercial land-based casino gaming when WarHorse Casino debuted slot gaming on September 24.

Taken together, AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker showcases the continued resiliency of both the U.S. commercial gaming industry and Americans’ demand for gaming. This resiliency will continue to be challenged by future economic headwinds, but what is clear is that the industry is as healthy today as ever.

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