US Commercial Casinos Set Another Quarterly Record, Q3 Gaming Win Tops $15B

The health of the United States commercial casino industry has never been better.

US casinos commercial gaming revenue GGR
US casinos commercial gaming revenue GGR
Slots players at Resorts World New York City in Queens. US commercial casinos in 2022 are winning more money off of gamblers than ever before. (Image: The New York Times)

While record inflation has greatly increased the costs of everyday living, Americans are gambling more than ever before, as gaming options continue to expand across the country.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the industry’s lobbying arm in Washington, DC. The AGA also monitors business operations in the 33 commercial gaming states where slot machines, table games, and/or sports betting is legal. The AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker tallies states’ monthly revenue reports into quarterly filings. The revenue tracker doesn’t include gaming from tribal casinos or from lottery proceeds.

For a second consecutive quarter, the AGA says the US commercial casino industry won more money off of gamblers than they did in any previous three-month span. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the third quarter — July through September — totaled a record $15.17 billion.

That easily bested the previous quarterly high of $14.81 billion set in the second quarter of 2022.

Demand Persists

Gaming in numerous states, including Nevada, the richest and most critical state to the US commercial gaming industry, benefited greatly in 2021 and throughout much of 2022 with pent-up demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio are a few of the states that recorded record GGR since life returned to a sense of normal.

High costs for everything from gasoline to milk and bread stood to curb leisure traveling and gambling expenditures. But the AGA says the 2022 third quarter numbers highlight the industry’s resiliency among economic headwinds.

While business challenges remain, high consumer demand continues to fuel our industry’s record success,” commented AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Our sustained momentum in the face of broader economic volatility points to gaming’s overall health today and provides confidence as we look to the future.”

Brick-and-mortar slot machines accounted for more than half of the $15 billion haul. The terminals retained $8.85 billion of the coin-in wagered. Table games won $2.55 billion during the third quarter, while GGR from internet casinos was $1.21 billion. Sportsbooks, both in-person and online, reported winning $1.68 billion.

Online Gaming Growth

The commercial gaming industry continues to see its total gaming revenue enlarge. That’s partly because of the ongoing expansion of legal sports betting and iGaming.

More states today permit regulated gambling on sports than those that do not. Legal sportsbooks are operational in more than 30 states. iGaming — legal interactive slots and table games played over the internet — remains confined to six states. But those operations continue to attract new players.

Sports betting GGR in the third quarter was 81% higher than in the same three months in 2021. iGaming win climbed nearly 29% during the same period.

Year to date, oddsmakers have won $4.78 billion from bettors. Nearly all of that money is relatively new gaming revenue, as prior to May 2018, sports betting was limited to Nevada. Sports win continues to climb, as the $4.78 billion won by the house this year is more than $2 billion greater than January through September 2021.

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