Americans gambled away a record-breaking amount of money in 2022. The nation’s casinos and mobile gaming apps rang up a record $54.93 billion in revenue during the first 11 months of 2022. With one month still being tallied, 2022 has already smashed the $53.04 billion record by 13.5%, according to data collected from state regulators by the American Gaming Association. (These numbers do not include the nation’s tribal casinos, nor does it include illegal gambling.)
Casey Clark, a senior vice president at the American Gaming Association (AGA), says the gaming industry has bounced back after a punishing pandemic-induced recession. “To have already surpassed the record numbers we hit in 2021 with a month to spare is really remarkable,” says Clark.
Across the country’s 33 commercial gaming jurisdictions, 30 reported year-over-year revenue growth over the same period in 2021. (Washington, D.C.’s sports betting market saw nearly a 15% decline while Mississippi and South Dakota saw revenues drops of 3.7% and 1%, respectively.)
Slot machines and table generated the most revenue out of any other form of gambling. Slots and table games across the U.S. generated $43,79 billion, a 6.7% increase over the same 11-month period in 2021. Sports bettors wagered $83.13 billion from January through the end of November. Sportsbooks only generated $6.56 billion off those wagers, but it’s a 65.4% increase over the same period in 2021.
In Nevada, the country’s epicenter of gambling, the state’s casinos already broke last year’s historic revenue record of $13.4 billion by November. Through the first 11 months of 2022, casinos in Nevada generated $13.5 billion in gaming revenue, up 10.2% over 2021, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Silver State has also been on a remarkable winning streak as gamblers have spent more than $1 billion a month for 21 consecutive months.
New York, meanwhile, has become the country’s largest sports betting market. In the Empire State, bettors wagered a total of $16.7 billion through mobile app during the market’s first year in operation, according to the New York State Gaming Commission. Sportsbooks across the state generated $1.4 billion off those wagers.
Brendan Bussmann, the managing partner of B Global, a consulting firm focused on gaming and hospitality, says it’s a good sign that the industry racked up two years of record-setting revenue after getting crushed by the pandemic in 2020. “Not only has the industry bounced back from the pandemic but the industry has expanded,” says Bussmann. “It’s going to continue to percolate and the industry will be in a good position for 2023, regardless of what happens with the economy.”
Bussmann says he expects a small slow down in 2023 due to economic headwinds but he believes the public’s views about gambling have evolved and it’s now seen as a form of entertainment, not a vice. The worry now is that economic pressures could cut into discretionary spending. “We got to see where that discretionary income goes and where it stays,” adds Bussmann.
When asked if 2023 will set another record, Clark remains cautiously optimistic. “The economy faced a lot of headwinds over the last year or two, but our businesses continued to expand and to grow,” he says. “I think we've got a strong foundation for continued growth.”