U.S. commercial gaming gained ground in 2019: report
By Rachel Debling
June 10, 2020
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released its State of the States 2020 report, which demonstrates growth across many facets of the country’s commercial gaming industry, including a 3.7 per cent increase in revenue from 2018 to 2019, marking the fifth straight year of growth.
The report iterates the strength of the industry last year, noting that of the 25 states where commercial gaming is available, 21 experienced gross gaming revenue increases over 2018, with 14 of those logging annual records. In addition, and for the first time ever, commercial gaming garnered more than US$10 billion for local and state governments, illustrating the industry’s value to the nation’s communities.
The industry’s US$43.6 billion 2019 revenue can be partially attributed to the increase in legal sports betting, the report notes. Across the 14 states that currently offer the option, US$13 billion was wagered, resulting in nearly US$909 million legal revenue, double what was seen in 2018.
The top five commercial markets in the U.S. remained the same as the previous year, with the Las Vegas Strip topping the list at US$6.59 billion. Of all markets, Louisiana saw the sharpest decrease, likely due to expanded competition in neighbouring states. Massachusetts, on the other hand, saw the largest growth as a result of the June 2019 opening of its second casino-resort outside of Boston, moving from US$273 million in 2018 to more than US$718 million the following year, an increase of 163 per cent.
Tribal casinos were not included in the reported numbers, as they are subject to different reporting requirements and timelines. The AGA report did note that the National Indian Gaming Commission’s most recent data is from 2018, when the tribal gaming sector’s revenue hit US$33.7 billion.