A report recently released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) shows that the gambling industry is benefiting greatly from the increase in legalized casino gambling in the United States. The report says that the industry hauled in over $40 billion in 2017 which is an all-time high.
The AGA released its “State of the States: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry” last week which took a detailed look into the industry and the economic impact that casino industry has had in the 24 states that allow legalized gambling. The AGA’s annual report gives the most comprehensive review of the gambling industry and details the benefits that AGA members give their employees, partners and the community at large.
The report details revenue, tax data, wage, and employment information while also closely looking at the kinds of gaming, number of casinos, and the competition that each faces on a state-by-state basis.
Key Findings of the Report
Some of the key findings include the fact that the casino industry raked in $40.28 billion from gaming in 2017 which is a 3.4% increase from the year before. States took in $9.3 billion in revenue from gaming taxes and 20 states that have commercial casinos reported increases in revenues in 2017. This shows healthy economic trends and steady job growth.
Delaware’s commercial casinos hauled in $415.8 million in 2017 which is up by 3.1% over the previous year. However, internet gaming in the state dropped from $2.9 million in 2016 to $2.4 million in 2017. Nevada benefited from $11.57 billion in casino gaming revenue which is a 2.8% increase from 2016 while New Jersey’s commercial casino gaming revenue was $2.66 billion in 2017 which is a 2.2% increase over 2016. It was also the second straight year that New Jersey’s gaming revenues increased after a decade-long slump.
Casino Industry Is Growing
The report showed that 20 of the 24 U.S. states that allow casino gambling saw growth in 2017. Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all saw record revenues from commercial casino gaming in 2017. The report also pointed out that expansion and regulatory changes have contributed greatly to the industry’s success.
New Jersey, Maryland, Oklahoma, Nevada and Louisiana all made regulatory reforms that helped bolster the commercial casino gaming industry. While casino gaming is proving to be a huge money maker, many Americans are preparing to spend money on sports betting as that becomes legal in more states. Legalized sports betting in New Jersey brought in $3.5 million in gross revenue this past June.
There are reportedly close to 20 states currently debating the option of legalizing sports betting. Once they rule in favor of sports betting legalization, their respective gaming markets will significantly increase and so will overall gaming revenues.
Tribal Gaming Shows Strong Numbers
Tribal casinos are located in 28 states across the country and do brisk business. While the AGA report does not go into detail regarding tribal casinos, the report did confirm that just as the commercial casino business increased in the country, so did tribal casino revenue as the same factors that boosted commercial casino revenue also boosted tribal gaming revenue. Tribal gaming revenues saw a 3.9 percent increase in 2017 when compared to 2016 and registered $32. 4 billion in revenue.
Many Challenges Still Ahead
The industry might be enjoying record revenue but increased competition will affect the bottom lines of individual casinos. When Maryland opened up the state’s 6th casino in 2016, it led to record revenue but some casinos there reported declines. New York’s first resort casinos helped to drive up revenues but, as in Maryland, some individual properties saw their revenue take a hit.
The commercial casino industry is the second-largest in the United States by revenue and the biggest in terms of tax collections.
Online Poker Will Grow
The AGA reported also had a positive outlook on table games. While online poker wasn’t specifically categorized in terms of stats, the report did confirm that table games have outperformed slot machines.
The report said “Growth in commercial casino table game revenue outpaced that of gaming machines in 2017, continuing a recent trend of younger patrons expressing a preference for games like blackjack and poker over traditional slot machines.”

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