Last week, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released its annual “State of the States” report. The report outlines growth, revenues, and changes to the casino and sports betting industry across the US during 2021.
The AGA’s report shows a surprisingly strong year in 2021 after the droughts of 2020.
“2021 was a record-breaking year for gaming, with commercial gaming revenue reaching an annual record of $53 billion, more than 21 percent above the previous high set in 2019,” AGA President and CEO William Miller said.
Growth in 2021 was partly due to the expansion of sports betting and iGaming across the country. The US saw seven new sports betting markets and two new iGaming states launch last year. Commercial gaming operations now exist in 33 states and in D.C.
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How Are New York’s Gaming Numbers?
In 2021, New York nearly doubled commercial casino gaming revenue compared to 2020 when casinos closed for almost half the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 totals didn’t quite exceed the 2019 totals — down about 0.7%.
The total 2021 revenue was $2.71 billion across 12 commercial casinos. Gaming tax revenue in 2021 was also huge, exceeding $1.1 billion.
Resorts World New York City in Queens generated the highest gaming revenue of any casino property in the US outside of Nevada. Empire City Casino in Yonkers ranked sixth in the US.
The report also outlines the future expansion of casinos in New York. State law permits three additional casino licenses.
Those three licenses are expected to go to casino resorts in the New York City metropolitan area. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo adamantly opposed expanding retail casinos in the NYC area, but the new governor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have indicated they support the move.
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The “State” Of Mobile Sports Betting In New York
2021 was a landmark year for mobile sports betting in New York, which the state finally legalized in April 2021, ut since mobile sportsbooks didn’t launch until January 2022, the 2021 report doesn’t reflect the boost in revenue from mobile sports betting.
Since sportsbooks launched in January, New York quickly became the largest mobile sports betting market in the country. Total users and revenue have surpassed most expectations, bringing an avalanche of sports betting to the state.
As of May 1, 2022, the total mobile sports betting handle was well over $6 billion.
NY mobile sports betting revenue has surpassed $425 million. Total state tax revenue has already exceeded $216 million.
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The Future: NY Online Casinos?
While online sports betting is in full swing in New York, online casinos are still unregulated and illegal in the state.
Most analysts expect that New York is on its way to legalizing online casinos – or “iGaming” – in the coming years.
A few bills in the works would push online gaming forward, and it’s still possible we could see developments in 2023. Even if lawmakers pass legislation, don’t expect iGaming to officially launch until 2024 at the earliest.