Casino Revenue Cools, Declines Felt Nationwide in January 2024

Posted on: February 19, 2024, 03:48h. 

Last updated on: March 20, 2024, 09:38h.

While Nevada and Las Vegas maintained the strong 2023 casino revenue momentum into 2024, regional gaming properties across the country saw gross gaming revenue (GGR) decline to begin the new year.

casino revenue gaming revenue January 2024
A rather empty casino floor is seen at Resorts World Catskills in Upstate New York. January casino revenue reports were down across the nation. (Image: The New York Times)

Regional casinos are typically defined as gaming properties not located in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. The leading brick-and-mortar commercial gaming states, aside from Nevada and New Jersey, include Pennsylvania, New York, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

Those states are leading markets for retail slot machines, video gaming terminals, and table games at commercial casinos, racinos, and riverboats. Pennsylvania has not yet released its January gross gaming revenue (GGR) report. But the other states have.

The January results present a concerning picture as the new year gets underway.

The industry is facing numerous headwinds, including inflation, and some consumers reining in their leisure spending.

Cold Starts

New York’s four upstate commercial casinos combined to win $48.9 million from their slots and table game players during January 2024. That was a more than 10% reduction from January 2023.

The state’s racinos, which offer electronic video lottery machines, won $182.5 million. That also represents about a 10% year-over-year drop.

In Louisiana, frigid weather was blamed for similar woes. The state’s casinos, riverboats, and racetrack slots won about $163.1 million from their slots and tables. The gaming win was down 15.5% from January 2023.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chair Ronnie Johns said ice storms slowed traffic at casinos in the Shreveport-Bossier and Lake Charles markets.

Weather conditions,” Johns said of the January blues. “I know in Lake Charles, the I-210 bridge was closed for a couple of days, which is the main route to the two big properties (Golden Nugget and L’Auberge).”

Mississippi’s riverboats won just shy of $180.3 million in January 2024. That represented an 11% year-over-year decline. The weather was also blamed.

Indiana’s riverboats and land-based casinos were the biggest year-over-year percentage losers, as January GGR tumbled 16.5%.

In Maryland, revenue at the state’s six casinos crashed over 8% to $153.2 million. In Massachusetts, the three brick-and-mortar casinos won about $93.5 million off non-sportsbook gamblers. The slot and table win amounted to a 3.5% decline.

In Michigan, the state’s three commercial casinos located in Detroit won $93.9 million, 9% less. But Detroit’s casinos have the benefit of also operating iGaming.

Recession Resistant

Casinos are often said to be “recession-proof,” a notion of an industry believed to be immune from the economic effects of a recession. However, as gaming has greatly expanded in the U.S. in recent decades, economists say the industry is more exposed to economic drawbacks.

However, the resiliency of the casino industry, its leading executives and stakeholders say, remains strong.

The significant expansion and record demand for legal, regulated gaming in the post-pandemic era have allowed our members to consistently invest in our product and people to deliver innovative entertainment options for American adults,” said American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller. “Gaming CEOs remain focused on delivering world class entertainment options against the backdrop of broader economic uncertainty.”