Nevada is secure in its place atop the list of American casino gaming markets, but in the past few years there has been a shift in the ranks below the original gaming Mecca. In the fourth installment of my week-long series analyzing recent trends in the gaming industry, I have combined casino and racetrack casino data and ranked the states by total gaming revenue.
Pennsylvania has come on strong since its debut in 2006 and finished 2011 just behind Atlantic City in third place overall; it was eleventh in total revenue in 2007. The other major moves in the top half of the list were downward ones – Mississippi dropped from third to sixth, Illinois went from sixth to eighth, and Connecticut fell from seventh to eleventh.
See the complete ranking.
Total gaming revenue in 2011 was $37.1 billion, down $2.1 billion, or 5.3 percent, from 2007. If we exclude the heavy presence of Nevada, which lost $2.1 billion on its own, non-Nevada revenue was $26.4 billion in 2011, up $74 million, or 0.3 percent, from 2007. The gains from new markets outweighed the declines in mature ones, if only slightly.
There’s always the question of whether markets can absorb new gaming. Looking at the mid-Atlantic region of Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, total gaming in those five states increased by $494.2 million, or 6.6 percent, from 2007 to 2011. So yes, the region handled more gaming. But the increase came at the expense of Atlantic City, which lost $1.6 billion, and Delaware, down $64.5 million. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania flourished and Maryland was just getting started.
Taking this a bit further, by examining the entire mid-Atlantic/Northeast corridor and adding New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, total reported gaming increased by $656.3 million, or 6.3 percent, from 2007 to 2011. Connecticut’s two tribal casinos lost $338.3 million in slot revenue over the period, but again the regional total increased. Granted the market divisions are more subtle than I've outlined here, but you get the general idea.
In many jurisdictions, we’ve already reached the point where growth is more about grabbing market share from competitors rather than increasing the total pie. That puts even more pressure on marketing and promotion, efficient operations and on the bottom line. The future will be tough, and that’s the subject of Friday’s column.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Mature markets
Part 3: Newer markets