US casinos have already broken the record for the most money won in a single year, according to the American Gaming Association.
The AGA revealed that casino revenue hit $43.43 billion in the first 10 months of the year – January through October. That is just shy of the all-time record of $43.65 billion set in 2019. However, states such as Indiana and Maryland have revealed their November trading figures, pushing the total past the $43.65 billion mark.
“Commercial gaming revenue has rebounded from its worst year since 2003 to its best year ever,” said AGA president and chief executive Bill Miller.
Record Come Crashing Down
Last year, the sector was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures taken to stem the spread of Covid-19. It has come roaring back in 2021.
Prior to 2021, combined revenue from traditional casino gaming, online casino gaming and sports betting had never topped $4 billion on a monthly basis. The industry has now surpassed $4 billion in monthly gaming revenue for eight consecutive months.
Combined revenue in October was $4.75 billion, the second-highest monthly total ever. At a state level, 24 of 25 commercial gaming jurisdictions reported stronger figures in October 2021 than they did in October 2019, with New Mexico the only outlier.
Twenty-three of 25 states have improved upon their 2019 performance this year, with only slight declines in Michigan and New Mexico.
Connecticut Joins the iGaming Party
Revenue from online casino gaming – known in the industry as iGaming – reached a record $357.3 million in October.
Connecticut became the sixth state to permit iGaming in October, following in the footsteps of Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. There is also a monopoly industry in Delaware, where Scientific Games and 888 Holdings run a unified system.
Connecticut issued licenses to three online casinos – Mohegan Sun / FanDuel, DraftKings, and PlaySugarHouse – with no other operators allowed.
There are three master licenses in the state. One went to the Mohegan Tribe, another went to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and the third went to the Connecticut Lottery. Each master licensee is permitted to host one online skin.
The Mohegan teamed up with FanDuel, the Mashantucket Pequot partnered with DraftKings, and the state-controlled Connecticut Lottery chose PlaySugarHouse, which is owned by Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive.
“We’re encouraged by the early results showing a clear enthusiasm and interest in online sports betting and gaming in Connecticut,” Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said in a statement. “We’re proud to deliver new gaming experiences with DraftKings that also drive valuable revenue to the state. The engagement sets a promising benchmark and we expect the momentum to only build as more consumers get in on the action, and the NFL season peaks over the coming months.”
Nevada Remains Dominant
Nevada remains the largest gaming jurisdiction in the country by a considerable margin. Its gaming revenue for January through October is just short of $11 billion.
The second-largest jurisdiction, Pennsylvania, is close to breaking the $4 billion mark for the year after enjoying 40.4% growth compared to pre-pandemic 2019 trading. New Jersey is a close third with $3.89 billion for the first 10 months of the year. States including Colorado and Massachusetts have seen very strong growth this year too.
“In October, traditional gaming revenue, again topped pre-pandemic levels by double digits, reaching $3.97 billion,” said the AGA in a statement. “US casino slot game revenue hit $2.84 billion, up 16.0% over October 2019, while table games generated $831.2 million, an increase of 23.2% from two years ago. Between January and October, traditional casino games generated $37.24 billion, up 5.8% from the same ten-month period in 2019.”