The annual report by the American Gaming Association, the “State of the States” report, is the high point of the analysis of commercial gaming in the United States each year. The 2020 report, reflecting data from 2019, will be the last of the good times for a couple of years, but it does show how popular gaming was becoming prior to the Covid-19 disaster. A longtime element of the State of the States measures the acceptability of gaming to Americans by answering the question “Gaming is acceptable/unacceptable for me or anyone else.” In Figure A, the 2020 report shows the largest gap in the history of the research, with 75 percent more acceptable than unacceptable. The data further shows that 105 million unique Americans visited a casino of some sort last year, up from 53.1 million when that was first measured in 2001.
Not surprisingly, gross gaming revenues for commercial casinos hit a record high in 2019, $43.6 billion (Figure B). And while the State of the States report focuses only on commercial gaming, it recaps tribal gaming revenue (also a record high) to show that the commercial casinos are only part of the picture in the U.S. and partner with tribal communities in important and influential ways that benefit the entire industry (Figure C). But the State of the States is really exactly that. The AGA report takes every state where gaming is legal and gives a in-depth analysis, complete with the types of gaming offered in that state, the revenue numbers, gaming taxes created, market overview, and impact on the state (Figure D, above).
To download a copy of the 2020 State of the States report, visit the AGA website, AmericanGaming.org.