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Gaming Proves to be Big Business in 2021

2021 was a great year for the gaming industry in the U.S. The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported a record revenue of $53 billion for the year. This is 21% more than the previous record revenue of $43.65 billion, set in 2019.

Bill Miller, President, and CEO of AGA stated that the rate of recovery sets the U.S. apart in the hospitality sector, as well as the wider economy. He voiced his optimism about where the industry is headed, rooted in the industry’s remarkable recovery. The online casino market continues to gain strength, even though only a few states have approved legislation.

Land-Based Gambling the Anchor

Despite the huge rise in mobile gambling in 2021 and the dominance of in-person gambling at casinos, the main factor behind the record revenue numbers was still in-person gambling. Slot, table, and physical gambling books accounted for 85% of total gambling revenue, or $46.52 trillion.

The revenue from fan-favorite slots machine games increased by 10% last year compared to 2019. Table game revenue increased only 1.1% in the same period.

Comparable to 2019, the fourth quarter gaming revenue for 2021 increased by 30% to $14.31 trillion. It also beats the quarter-three record of $13.93 trillion set in 2021.

Las Vegas continues to be the most popular American gambling destination, with more than $7 billion in gaming revenue in 2021. Atlantic City was second in terms of revenue with $2.6 billion and the Chicago area third with $2 billion.

Sports Gambling Gains More Ground

Due to the record $57.22 million wagered by Americans, sports gambling generated a record $4.29 billion in revenue in 2021. The amount of money gambled increased 165% over 2020.

New Jersey, which brought in $815 million in 2021 in sports betting revenue, was again the top sports gambling market. The top five sports betting revenue markets were also represented by Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.

Six states, including Georgia, Georgia, Hawaii and Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Missouri, are currently discussing sports betting in 2022. Four states, including New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Missouri, are looking into iGaming.

iGaming Closes the Gap

iGaming, which encompasses mobile card, slot, and table games across six states (not including Nevada online poker), was up 139% over 2020 and generated a record-breaking $3.71 billion in revenues. New Jersey was ranked number 1, followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan. Each had more than $1 billion in revenue. Both Connecticut and Michigan started iGaming in 2021.

2022 will continue the record-breaking revenue trend, with New York and Louisiana having already launched mobile betting. According to the AGA, Nebraska and Ohio will launch their mobile sports betting this year. Maryland could follow suit.

iGaming to Reach $6 Billion in Three Years

Analysts predict that, although sports betting is still the most talked about, the U.S. iGaming industry has seen phenomenal growth in the past 18 months. This has made the country one of the largest online casinos markets worldwide, even though it only covers a small area.

The total revenue from iGaming across four states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania, West Virginia Delaware) reached $1.55 billion in 2020, up 200% over the previous year. The growth was led by New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where revenue more than doubled to $970.3 million. In Pennsylvania’s first year of operation, online casinos made $565.8 million in revenue.

Michigan is now part of the triumvirate that includes major U.S. online casinos markets. The headline gross revenue of Michigan’s online casinos was almost $175 million in the first two months of its operations. (February 2021 and March 2021).

Analysts project that the U.S. iGaming industry will reach US$6.4 billion in gross revenue by 2025. This is according to a conservative Base Case, which assumes legalization in only four additional states. Legal iGaming’s rollout will take longer than online sports betting, which should be available in over 30 states by that time.


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