The U.S.-based commercial gaming industry generated $37.34 billion in gross gaming revenue for 2012, a 4.8 percent increase over 2011 figures and the third year in a row consumer spending at gaming facilities has rose, according to the recently released2013 State of the States survey from the American Gaming Association (AGA).
U.S. Consumer Spending on Commercial Casino Gaming
U.S. Consumer Spending on Commercial Casino Gaming, 2003-2012

Indeed, the 2012 national economic impact data reveals the U.S. commercial casino industry is going strong. On the strength of a third consecutive year with increased rates of growth, national gross gaming revenues for 2012 reached their second-highest level in history—behind only 2007, the last year before the recession hit, according to the survey.

Add in the impacts of direct gaming tax revenues, casino employment and wages, and a growing gaming equipment manufacturing sector, and one can see that both the present and the future of the U.S. gaming industry look bright.

When compared with figures from 2011, total consumer spending on gambling at commercial casinos—the equivalent of gross gaming revenue—rose 4.8 percent in 2012 to $37.34 billion. The increase in revenues expectedly led to an increase in direct gaming tax contributions as well, with companies returning $8.6 billion to states and local communities—an 8.5 percent increase over 2011 figures. The jobs created by the gaming industry continue to provide vital employment opportunities for more than 332,000 people—a slight 0.9 percent decline from 2011 totals—who earned $13.2 billion in wages, benefits and tips during 2012.

Most, but not all, gaming markets across the country are experiencing improved economic conditions, as 15 of the 22 states that had commercial casinos operating during 2011 saw their gross gaming revenues increase during 2012. The largest increases—in Kansas (+603.7 percent), Maryland (+142.6 percent), Maine (+66.9 percent) and New York (+43.1 percent)—were driven by the opening of new casinos or casinos that had their first full year of operations. Also of note, Ohio’s first four casinos opened during 2012, making it the nation’s 23rd commercial casino state and adding more than $400 million to the national revenue total.

State-by-State Consumer Spending on Commercial Casino Gaming, 2011 vs. 2012
State-by-State Consumer Spending on Commercial Casino Gaming, 2011 vs. 2012

Not all states saw their gaming revenue, tax receipts and employment rise during 2012, partly due to increased competition from new casinos in nearby markets. New Jersey experienced the largest drops in both gross gaming (-8.0 percent) and gaming tax (-8.2 percent) revenue, as it dealt with days of casino closings and reduced tourism in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and increased competition from new casinos in the mid-Atlantic region. Delaware felt the effects of mid-Atlantic competition as well, and had the second largest percentage decreases in both gaming revenue (-4.7 percent) and tax receipts (-5.5 percent).


Reprinted from the American Gaming Association’s 2013 State of the States Survey of Casino Entertainment. To see the full report, visit