The Rise of Online Gambling in the U.S

The landscape of gambling revenue in the United States has experienced a dynamic transformation, driven by the growing popularity of online casinos and sports betting. While traditional brick-and-mortar casinos continue to hold their ground, the rapid ascent of digital gambling platforms is becoming increasingly evident.

According to recent figures reported by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and analyzed by, total gross gaming revenue (GGR) for May demonstrated a notable 6.4% increase compared to the previous year, reaching $5.49 billion. This surge in revenue reflects a promising trend for the gambling industry as a whole.

A deeper examination of the data, however, reveals a shift in the pace of growth. While January boasted an impressive 20% increase compared to 2022, the subsequent months have seen a gradual deceleration in this upward trajectory. This nuanced pattern suggests that the industry may be experiencing a recalibration after a period of remarkable expansion.

One of the most significant contributors to this evolving landscape is the realm of iGaming. Online casinos, in particular, have demonstrated remarkable resilience and progress. The figures for May indicate an astonishing 22.4% increase in gross gaming revenue compared to the previous year, with a total of $498.4 million. The cumulative GGR for iGaming for the year-to-date has also seen a commendable rise of 22.3%, underscoring the sustained appeal of digital gambling platforms.

The Rise of Online Gambling in the U.S

Sports betting has also emerged as a formidable revenue generator, with GGR totaling $864.1 million—a substantial 41.5% increase from the same period in 2022. The realm of sports betting continues to captivate enthusiasts, offering diverse opportunities for engagement and wagering.

Slot games retain their status as a reliable moneymaker for casinos, with May’s GGR totaling $2.98 billion—a modest but steady 1.3% increase compared to the previous year. The cumulative figures for the first five months of the year reveal a more pronounced 5.1% surge, highlighting the enduring appeal of this classic casino experience.

However, not all sectors of the casino industry have reported positive results. May witnessed a 4.8% decline in table game revenue, a trend that contrasts with the overall 1.9% increase in revenue for the first five months of the year compared to 2022. This juxtaposition underscores the diversity of player preferences and the need for adaptability within the industry.

A compelling point of comparison emerges when examining online casinos in contrast to their land-based counterparts. In May, land-based casino revenue, which includes some sports betting, experienced a marginal 0.6% decline. In stark contrast, the GGR for online gambling, including select sports betting, skyrocketed by an impressive 43.4%. This disparity highlights the growing prominence of digital gambling platforms, particularly in an era when convenience and accessibility play pivotal roles in consumer choices.

The trajectory of online gambling revenue in recent years has been marked by an upward trajectory, a trend further accentuated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As traditional casinos grappled with closures and restrictions, online casinos provided a reliable outlet for enthusiasts seeking entertainment from the safety of their homes.

While the pandemic’s acute phase may have subsided, the allure of online gambling remains strong. The convenience of accessing a diverse array of games and betting options from the comfort of one’s own home has established online casinos as an enduring form of entertainment. The year-to-year revenue increases experienced by online casinos are notably outpacing their land-based counterparts, reflecting changing player preferences and habits.

One pivotal driver behind the legalization of online casinos across numerous US states has been the potential for significant tax revenue. Beyond the entertainment factor, online casinos offer a lucrative source of income that can contribute to public funds. A landmark 2018 US Supreme Court decision shifted the authority to regulate gambling to individual states, resulting in a wave of legislative changes that legalized sports betting and online casinos in various jurisdictions.

States that have embraced this legislative shift are reaping the financial rewards. Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware have all witnessed growth in iGaming revenue in May, collectively reporting a remarkable 22.4% increase compared to the previous year. The cumulative GGR for these states in the year-to-date is $2.48 billion, representing a substantial 22.3% surge from 2022.

The future holds the promise of further growth for online casinos, with potential expansions of legalized betting in more US states. While sports betting revenue may experience cyclical fluctuations, online casinos continue to offer a consistent and accessible form of entertainment throughout the year. The industry’s evolving landscape underscores the need for adaptability and innovation as it navigates changing player preferences and market dynamics. As more players opt for the convenience and variety of online casinos, the industry is poised for continued transformation and growth.

Online Gambling Industry Analysis 2023


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