While the stock market had everyone reeling in December, the overall picture for the economy is robust. This includes the gambling sector of the US economy, which saw another record-breaking year. Even better, the uptick in profits is only expected to rise, as states continue to add sports gambling to their offerings. There are currently 30 states that are at least considering the possibility of adding sports gambling to the mix.
A Record-Breaking Year
Commercial casinos, which are those casinos not owned by tribes, raked in nearly $43 billion dollars in wins last year. This figure is spread across 20 states, and represents a 3% increase over last year’s take by the casinos. Winnings were also up in 2016 as well. Not only was the market good for commercial casinos, the market was also good for tribal casinos as well, even though New Mexico’s tribal casinos just got their sportsbooks up and running. Tribal casinos took over $30 billion in winnings as well. The majority of the money coming from tribal casinos was in the states of California and Florida.
The Best Performing States
Several states made a ton of money from gambling this year. Nevada is still the largest market for casino gambling in the US. The state won nearly $12 billion dollars from gamblers in 2018, which means that it alone was responsible for 28% of the nationwide winning total. The figure represents an increase of 3%. Of all of the gambling offerings that Nevada has, the statewide sportsbook saw an increase in gambling wins of 21%. Although Nevada has one of the oldest gambling businesses in the country, it remains at the top of the heap. For example, when Super Bowl bets in Nevada were placed next to the amount of betting in Atlantic City, there was no contest.
While Nevada is the undisputed champion of the gambling world, several other states did well, and saw large increases from 2017. New Jersey, long the hub of gambling on the East Coast, also had a good year. In fact, it had its best year in over 20 years in revenue growth with gambling. The Garden State saw gambling revenue increases across the board, which led to a 9% growth in revenue in the state. Over $100 million of the revenue came from sports betting alone, while $300 million came from gambling online. The brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City also did well, with an overall revenue increase of 4%.
Another state that saw a huge increase in its gaming revenue was Maryland. The grand opening of the huge casino complex at National Harbor, which is a short drive from Washington, D.C., was the largest reason the state saw a big increase in revenue. Maryland saw an 8% increase in overall gaming revenue.
Other states that saw nice increases in revenues saw the increases because they adapted to a changing market. For example, two new casinos opened in a revitalizing downtown Detroit food and drink scene, and they have reaped the benefits. This is especially true since their closest competition to the north closed down for months due to a labor strike. Detroit set records for the casino market in the state. In addition, Michigan casinos are looking to legalize sports betting and online casinos this year during the legislative session. Both bills passed the legislature last year, but were vetoed by the departing governor. Mississippi and West Virginia saw their revenues contract in 2017, but they came back strong in 2018. That is because both states legalized sports gambling just in time for football season. Both states were up over 2% from the year before.
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