In 2021, gambling in America set an all-time revenue record for the commercial gaming industry. Revenue reached $53 billion, according to our friends at the American Gaming Association. This total shatters the 2019 industry record of just under $44 billion by more than 20%. The industry closed the year on a high note, setting an all-time revenue record for the last quarter of the year at $14.3 billion, which eclipsed the previous quarterly record of $13.9 billion, also from 2021.
“These results are nothing short of remarkable,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “The success of 2021 reflects our commitment to health and safety and how Americans have welcomed gaming’s expansion across the country. Today’s industry is effectively meeting customers how and where they want to engage—whether at a casino or through mobile gaming.”
Of the 34 operational commercial gaming jurisdictions in 2021—including four new markets—23 set individual records for full-year commercial gaming revenue. On a national level, every commercial gaming vertical set new annual revenue records. Traditional brick-and-mortar gaming still leads gambling in America, with 2021 combined slot and table gaming revenue totaling $44.9 billion, a 6.6% increase over the previous record.
Sports betting enjoyed an accelerated in growth in 2021, generating over $57 billion in handle and $4.3 billion in total revenue, both of which were jumps of approximately 170% from previous high marks, powered by the strong demand in established markets like Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, we cannot underestimate the launch of seven new sports betting markets across the country in states such as Arizona, Louisiana, South Dakota, Connecticut, Virginia, , Michigan, Maryland, and Wyoming.
New online markets in Connecticut and Michigan opened in 2021. This naturally helped the sector reach the $3.7 billion in record revenue. Combined sports betting and online gambling revenue for the year totaled $8 billion, up 158% from 2020, and over 15% in growth of annual revenue for gambling in America.
“Despite our record-setting year, gaming’s total recovery is still reliant on the full return of travel and large events, which requires a safe health environment and open economy,” Miller continued. “I’m optimistic that we will see continued growth throughout 2022.”