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State of the States 2020

The definitive study of the U.S. commerical gaming industry in 2019, providing key financial performance data and other metrics for the 25 states with commercial gaming operations.
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State of the States 2020

June 3, 2020

In stark contrast to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on gaming, 2019 further solidified our industry’s role as a vital economic engine for states and local communities. The AGA’s State of the States report shows U.S. commercial casino gaming industry revenue topped $43.6 billion in 2019, up 3.7 percent from 2018.

Key Findings
$43.6 billion generated in commercial gaming revenue in 2019 - the fifth-straight year of revenue growth
$10.2 billion paid in gaming taxes to state and local governments, with billions more supported in sales, income, and other taxes
21 of 25 commercial gaming states experienced year-over-year revenue increases, with 14 states reporting annual records

Not only did annual commercial casino revenue hit a new high in 2019, but direct commercial gaming tax revenue generated more than $10 billion for state and local governments for the first time ever. This is a 4.1 percent increase from 2018 and does not account for the billions more in sales, income, and other taxes from gaming. The $10.2 billion in taxes benefit the states and communities in which casinos operate by funding education initiatives, health insurance programs, infrastructure and economic development projects, responsible gaming programs, and more. State-by-state breakdowns of the distribution of gaming taxes can be found in the report.

Gaming taxes are enough to support the annual education cost for 832,000 elementary and secondary school students.

The increases in gaming revenue and taxes can be attributed in part to the continued expansion of legal sport betting, which 14 states legally offered in 2019. Americans wagered more than $13 billion on sports with legal operators in 2019, resulting in legal U.S. operators earning $908.9 million in sports betting revenue. This is more than double the $430.7 million revenue in 2018.

In 2019, the top 15 commercial casino markets by total gaming revenue maintained their previous rankings, but there was significant jostling for positions between the 16th and 20th largest markets. The downtown Las Vegas market overtook Shreveport/Bossier City for the 16th largest market. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh/Meadowlands area surpassed New Orleans for the 19th spot on the list.

Top Five Gaming Markets

21 of the 25 commercial gaming states reported increases in annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) from the previous year. The largest increase came in Massachusetts, reflecting the June opening of the state’s second casino-resort just outside of Boston. The steepest decline came in Louisiana amid expanded competition in neighboring states. Fourteen states—Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Rhode Island—recorded record gaming revenue.

Top Five Year-Over-Year Gaming Revenue Increases

About the Report

State of the States 2020 is the definitive economic analysis of the U.S. commercial casino industry and its significant economic impact in the 25 U.S. states with commercial gaming operations. For each of the 25 jurisdictions, the report analyzes gaming revenue and gaming taxes generated by commercial casino locations for the calendar year 2019. The report provides a breakdown of the legality of types of gaming and the number of casinos by state, summarizes major gaming policy discussions, and previews opportunities and challenges for the industry. AGA’s State of Play map provides the report findings in an easy-to-use, interactive tool.

Note, tribal casinos are subject to different reporting requirements and timelines. According to the most recently available data from the National Indian Gaming Commission, the tribal gaming sector’s revenue reached $33.7 billion in 2018.