US gambling revenue grows to nearly $5bn in August

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US commercial gaming revenue grew to nearly $5bn in August 2022 – up 10% year-over-year – due to growing spend on land-based casino gaming, sports betting and iGaming, according to the American Gaming Association.

Gambling revenue across all verticals grew to nearly $4.89b in August 2022 according to figures announced by the American Gaming Association Wednesday. August marked the 18th consecutive month with positive year-over-year gaming revenue growth since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when virtually all brick-and-mortar gaming establishments shuttered for weeks and many maintained extended health and safety protocols for more than a year.

“We’ve been through a terrible couple of years. But our industry is standing strong,” American Gaming Association President Bill Miller told a gaming industry crowd last week.

The pace of growth year-over-year reversed in August after slowing for the past several months. In line with seasonal trends, revenue declined 4.1% on a sequential basis as summer travel wound down and the fall sports calendar had not begun, according to the AGA.

Overall, through the first eight months of the year, commercial gaming revenue totaled $39.2bn, 14.9% ahead of 2021.

Nationwide sports betting handle was $4.54bn in August, flat from last year’s lowest level of betting activity in July but still up 48.6% year-over-year. Like in July, August sports betting handle was down during the typical summer sports season downturn.

Still, sportsbook operators generated $471.4m in revenue in August, up more than 116% over last year. Six states have launched at least one retail or digital sportsbook in the past year, helping fuel the growth. The only two states with sports betting last year with organic growth declines were Delaware and Montana, both of which only offer one legal sports betting option instead of competitive marketplaces.

Those figures nationwide are also rising, according to initial September sports betting reports as the college and NFL season returns.

Through August, US sportsbook operators have generated nearly $4bn in revenue, up nearly 70% compared to the first eight months of 2021. Handle is now at $55.76bn through August 2022, up more than 86% compared to the period between January and August of last year.

With the seasonal uptick in football season, the AGA expects operators to take in more than $100bn in handle this calendar year.

Online casino operator revenue in the six regulated commercial jurisdictions increased by nearly 32% year over year to $401.8m. Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all reported annual growth.

AGA President Bill Miller: “We’ve been through a terrible couple of years. But our industry is standing strong.”

Year-to-date iGaming revenue stands at $3.21bn, up 39.9% on the same period in 2021, per the AGA. Combined revenue from sports betting and iGaming accounted for 17.9% of total US commercial gaming revenue in August, up from the two previous months.

Traditional brick-and-mortar gaming also saw extensive growth.

Twenty-seven of 31 commercial gaming jurisdictions that were operational a year ago saw revenue growth compared to August 2021. The only monthly game win contractions were minor drops in Massachusetts, which is set to launch sports betting early next year, as well as Mississippi. The other drops were in Delaware and Montana.

Only four of the 31 jurisdictions remain behind their gaming pace compared to 2021. Three of the four, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota, reflect the tougher-than-average comparisons due to these states easing COVID-19 restrictions earlier in 2021 than most other jurisdictions, according to the AGA, making growth more difficult in 2022.

The fourth, Washington D.C., is due to the decline in the district’s lottery-run sportsbook app, which has dropped as more wagering options have gone live in neighboring Virginia and Maryland.

Nationwide revenue from land-based casino slot machines and table games combined to reach just over $4bn in August, an increase of 2.5% over last year, per the AGA. Slots generated revenue of $2.92.bn, up 1.7%, while table game revenue increased 3.4% to nearly $811m.

Even as overall US travel spending contracted compared to August 2019, the revenue growth pace for traditional casino offerings was at its highest since April. In more established regional casino markets including Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri, the average increase was more than 4%.

Slot machines and table games have grossed nearly $32bn through calendar year 2022, up 8.6% ahead of the same time period from 2021. Twenty-two of 25 commercial gaming states with slots and table games in the past year saw their combined revenue grow during that time.

Virginia’s Hard Rock Casino in Bristol helped the commonwealth become the nation’s 26th commercial casino market in July. By grossing $14.3m in revenue in August, Hard Rock outpaced similar-sized properties in neighboring Maryland and West Virginia.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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