The U.S. commercial casino industry generated $34.60 billion in gross revenue last year, a 1 percent increase over the $34.28 billion consumers spent at the properties in 2009, according to the 2011 State of the States, the American Gaming Association’s annual report on the casino industry.

Though nominal, the 1 percent growth stopped a two year decline in year-over-year combined gross gaming revenues for the commercial casino market, which peaked at $37.52 billion in 2007.

“There’s no question; the last several years have been challenging for the commercial casino industry,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., president and CEO of the AGA in a prepared statement. “This year’s States of the States report confirms that there’s good reason to be optimistic about the future of gaming. The industry has made tough choices and implemented new strategies to persevere.”

Indeed, some regions performed better than others. Pennsylvania commercial casino grew an astounding 26.4 percent, from $1.97 billion in 2009 to $2.49 billion in 2010, thanks to the opening of new facilities and the inclusion of table games into the gaming mix. Casinos in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Dakota all experienced year-over-year growth.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New Jersey/Atlantic City commercial casino marketplace saw its revenues decline 9.4 percent, from $3.94 billion in 2009 to $3.57 billion in 2010, primarily due to increased regional competition from Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. Gaming properties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia also suffered year-over-year declines in gross revenue.

Despite its decline, Atlantic City remained the second largest casino market in the U.S., surpassed only by the $5.77 billion in gross revenue generated by Las Vegas Strip casinos. Rounding out the list of the five largest U.S. casino gaming markets are Chicago ($2.05 billion), Connecticut ($1.38 billion) and Detroit ($1.37 billion).

For more information and a copy of this report, visit the American Gaming Association at www.americangaming.org.