Following best-ever May

US commercial gaming reaches new highs in first five months at almost $25B; on track for record-setting year

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According to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, despite macroeconomic challenges and increasingly tougher year-over-year comparisons, March, April, and May have been the three best gaming months in industry history – each surpassing gaming revenue of $5 billion.

Commercial gaming remains on track for another potential record-setting year with revenue in the first five months reaching $24.39 billion, up 20.6% from the same period in 2021.

According to data released Wednesday, in May 2022 combined commercial land-based casinos, sportsbooks, and internet casinos realized gaming revenue of $5.03 billion, marking a record for the month and the second-highest month in history.

Sequentially, revenue was flat as land-based gaming grew 1.5%, while sports betting and iGaming contracted by 7.7% and 2.4% respectively. Gaming revenue expanded by 7.9% compared to May 2021. 

Eighteen of 31 commercial gaming states that were operational a year ago saw revenue growth from May 2021.

After the first five months of 2022, only four states are behind their gaming revenue pace at the start of 2021: the District of Columbia (-21.2%), Kansas (-0.8%), Mississippi (-2.5%), and South Dakota (-1.9%). The slowdown in Kansas, Mississippi, and South Dakota largely reflects tougher than average comparisons as Covid-restrictions in the three states were eased earlier in 2021 compared to most other gaming jurisdictions.

In May, land-based casino slot machines and table games combined for $4.13 billion in nationwide revenue, up 1.4% versus the same month last year and marking the third-highest month ever. Year-over-year comparisons were more favorable for table game revenue, jumping 10.5% to $873.9 million, while slot revenue was essentially flat (-0.1%) from May 2021 at $2.94 billion.

Year-to-date revenue from land-based casino slot machines and table games stands at $19.70 billion, 13.9% ahead of the same period in 2021. Twenty-two of 25 states saw annual revenue growth from traditional gaming through the first five months of 2022.

In May, commercial gaming revenue from sports betting and iGaming continued to grow on an annual basis.

Land-based and online sportsbooks generated $487.5 million in May revenue from commercial operations in 26 states. This is a 78.2% gain from 2021 when commercial sports betting markets were live across 20 states and the District of Columbia compared to 30 states and D.C. today. Through the first five months of 2022, commercial sports betting revenue stands at $2.64 billion, 73.5% ahead of the same period last year.

Meanwhile, combined revenue from iGaming in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia reached $406.4 million in May, increasing 30.9% from May 2021 when iGaming was operational in five states. Year-to-date iGaming revenue is $2.03 billion, up 45.6% on the same period in 2021.

Taken together, revenue from iGaming and sports betting accounted for 17.8% of combined commercial gaming revenue in May, down from 18.8% in April and 19.2% in March.

The positive trends in US gaming continue even though challenges like supply chain issues, labor shortages and inflation persist. The rise of illegal gambling has also been a concern for the legal industry as of late, especially within online gaming, with AGA and its partners pushing for further action from authorities.