US Casinos Maintain Record Play, Gross Revenue Tops $14.3B in First Quarter

Posted on: May 11, 2022, 11:04h. 

Last updated on: May 11, 2022, 03:12h.

The US commercial casino industry is thriving, despite nearly unparalleled inflation and an unraveling economy.

US casinos gaming revenue GGR sports betting
Sightseers line up at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to snag a photo of the iconic landmark. Las Vegas, as well as the rest of the US casino industry, has quickly recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image:

The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported today that gaming revenue totaled approximately $14.32 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The haul includes the income derived from brick-and-mortar casinos, iGaming, and sports betting.

January through March 2022 topped the same three months last year by almost 29%. The 2022 first quarter also easily bested the three-month period in 2019 by 34%.

Consumers continue to seek out gaming’s entertainment options in record numbers,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Q1’s strong results build on the industry’s record year in 2021 despite continued headwinds from supply chain constraints, labor shortages, and the impact of soaring inflation.”

Brick-and-mortar slots won $8.19 billion during the reporting period, while retail table games generated $2.38 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR). Oddsmakers kept $1.58 billion of players’ bets, and iGaming added another $1.21 billion in gross receipts.

State gaming regulators in Michigan and Louisiana do not separate slot and table game revenue in their reports. As such, those two states’ GGR is combined into the total GGR number and therefore represents the disparity between the total GGR number and channel breakdown.

Gaming Expansion Fueling Record Play

The $14.32 billion won by the casinos — which isn’t entirely accurate, as much of the revenue is generated and shared with third-party operators like BetMGM and DraftKings that are not casinos — nearly matched the US gaming industry’s all-time best quarter of $14.35 billion, set in the final three months of 2021. Q1 in 2022, however, is a record for January-March.

Gaming expansion is responsible for the ever-growing gaming numbers. Most significant is sports betting, gambling that became a state’s right to decide its legality four years ago this month.

It was May 14, 2018, that the US Supreme Court handed down its historic decision that concluded that PASPA — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that limited sports betting to Nevada — ran afoul of anti-commandeering interpretations of the US Constitution. More than 30 states today offer legal, regulated sports betting.

“Four years post-PASPA, legal sports betting’s success is proving what we’ve known all along: American consumers are eager to wager within the protections of the regulated market,” Miller said. “It also reinforces the need to stamp out offshore, illegal operators who prey on vulnerable customers.”

State Benefits

US casinos, sportsbooks, and iGaming firms assist state and local governments to the tune of several billion dollars each year. In 2021, tax revenue from gaming totaled a record $11.69 billion. That is up 75% from 2020, and 15% better than 2019.

Our industry’s success goes beyond the bottom line and into communities across the country. The record state and local tax contributions fund vital services from infrastructure and education to healthcare and emergency services,” Miller added.

The tax numbers are exclusive of federal, state, and local income taxes the casinos and gaming businesses additionally pay on their net business income. Of the 34 commercial gaming markets in the US, the AGA says 32 experienced an increase in Q1 ’22 GGR from the same quarter in the prior year.