US commercial gaming sets new quarterly high with $16.6B in Q1, driven by growth in all verticals

The commercial US gaming industry set a new quarterly high in the first quarter of the year, topping $16 billion during the three-month period, according to the American Gaming Association’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. The quarter was further highlighted by the industry’s highest-grossing month ever of $5.9 billion in March, an increase of 10.3% annually.

The $16.6 billion delivered in Q1, up by 15.5% on a yearly basis, marks the industry’s eighth straight record-breaking quarter. Across the country, 18 of 35 commercial gaming markets set new revenue records for the quarter, with only Mississippi trailing its quarterly revenue from Q1 2022.

“After two full years of successive growth post-COVID, the U.S. gaming industry has never been stronger,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “With records across every gaming vertical—from brick-and-mortar casinos to mobile gaming—American adults continue to choose gaming as one of their top entertainment options.” 

Revenue by gaming vertical

Every commercial gaming vertical saw quarterly revenue records in Q1, says AGA. Retail gaming accounted for 75.3% of total revenue while online gaming represented its largest share ever, at 24.7. Looking further at each sector shows that:

Traditional gaming: Traditional brick-and-mortar casino gaming generated quarterly revenue of $12.3 billion, up by 7%, surpassing the previous high of $12.26 billion in Q3 2022. The growth was driven by the solid performance of both slot and table games, which increased annually by 13.8% to $8.83 billion and 13.5% to $2.50 billion, respectively.

Legal sports betting: Nationwide, Americans wagered a record $31.1 billion on sports in Q1 2023, generating an all-time high of $2.79 billion in quarterly revenue (up 70.1% year-over-year). The growth compared to Q1 2022 was largely driven by new market launches in Kansas, Massachusetts and Ohio, and the launch of mobile betting in Maryland. Ohio quickly established itself as a major player during the period, generating $387.3 million in revenue and $2.49 billion in handle, the second largest market in the country behind New York.

iGaming: iGaming grossed $1.48 billion in Q1 2023, marking a 22.7% year-over-year revenue increase. Six iGaming markets were live during the quarter (excluding Nevada online poker), which was unchanged from a year ago.

As for individual casinos, 17 out of the top 20 highest-grossing commercial casinos outside of Nevada experienced growth compared to Q1 2022. MGM National Harbor in Maryland maintained its position as the top-grossing casino, while Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts surpassed Live! Casino in Maryland to secure the number two position.

State of the States

Along with the Q1 report, AGA released its annual State of the States report, which provides state-by-state economic and regulatory analysis of U.S. commercial gaming in 2022 for policymakers, gaming stakeholders and industry observers.

State of the States 2023 reveals that commercial gaming generated a record $13.48 billion in direct gaming tax revenue paid to state and local governments in 2022—up 15.3% from 2021. “This does not include the billions more paid in income, sales or other taxes,” notes the association. 

“As one of the biggest taxpayers in states across the country, we know that when gaming is successful, so are our communities,” added Miller. “Beyond our significant tax contributions, our industry is engrained in local communities, bolstering economic development through job creation, supporting local charities and nonprofits, and setting the standard on corporate responsibility.”

The report details the commercial gaming industry’s financial performance, including analyses of each of the 35 jurisdictions with commercial gaming operations in 2022. The report, developed with VIXIO GamblingCompliance, also provides a breakdown of the legality of types of gaming and number of casinos by state, summarizes major gaming policy discussions, and previews opportunities and challenges for the industry.

Read AGA’s full Q1 2023 report here.

Read AGA’s State of the States report here.