The gambling sector in the United States is constantly growing. Now that sports betting is legal, there is no end in sight for this growth. New figures show another record-breaking year, as commercial casinos passed the $40bn (£31bn) revenue mark for the first time.
Casinos hitting new highs
There were 460 commercial casinos in 24 states in America in 2017. These gaming revenues figures show the amount of money those casinos earned after they paid the punters their winnings.
Tribal casino’s revenue is not included in these revenue figures. However, the figures don’t represent profit levels because they don’t take into account the costs of operating a casino, such as salaries, taxes, fees, etc.
More than $40bn (£31bn) in revenue was taken in by commercial casinos in 2017, a new record. This was an increase of 3.4% over 2016. The state governments naturally also saw an uptick in tax revenues, which were up 3.1% to $9.2bn (£7.2bn).
The figures show that 20 of the 24 states that have casinos saw revenue increases over 2016.
The American Gaming Association released this information in its yearly State of the States report. Twelve states set individual revenue records.
Nevada was the overall leader with $11.6bn (£9bn) in revenue, followed by Pennsylvania with (£2.5bn). New Jersey, New York, and Indiana were next on the list.
West Virginia had the largest decline in revenue, a decrease of 4.6%, mainly because an MGM resort casino that opened in nearby Maryland probably took a lot of business from casinos in the state.
Commercial casino trends
One of the main factors behind the revenue increase was that people had more disposable income for gambling because of increased employment and higher wages.
The success of commercial casinos feeds massively into economic performance on both the state and national levels.
The $9.23bn (£7.2bn) in tax revenue will be put to good use and there were over 361,000 people employed by commercial casinos in 2017, receiving wages, tips, and benefits of more than $17bn (£13.2bn) annually, which feeds into the local economies.
While casinos as a whole have seen decent increases in revenue, there is ever-increasing competition that they need to keep up with. With more forms of online gambling being allowed in the country and the legalization of sports betting, more and more operators are getting involved.
There were significant regulatory changes during 2017. Online gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania, and several states eliminated some of the blocks that prevented the gambling sectors there from thriving.
The Responsible Gaming Collaborative was formed to help enhance these regulatory reforms and to help bring new approaches to how the industry approaches innovation.
There was also the surprising indication that the Supreme Court was open to the legalization of sports betting, which had previously not seemed likely. A lot of the work was done in 2017, and the decision was made in May.
Finally, the more than 500 tribal casinos in the country continue to prosper. Figures provided by the National Indian Gaming Commission showcase that revenues increased by almost 4% to $32.4bn (£25.3bn). This increase can also be attributed to the consumer trends and economic prosperity.