The U.S. gaming industry inched ahead in 2013 with a fourth consecutive year of overall growth following the Great Recession, hitting $39.2 billion for the year. That one percent gain over the previous year represents a slowdown compared to 4.4 percent growth in 2012 and nearly three percent growth rates in both 2010 and 2011.
These numbers include both commercial casinos and racetrack casinos, plus slot operations at the two giant tribal casinos in Connecticut. Not included are other tribal casinos or revenues from widely-distributed video gaming machines such as those in Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota and West Virginia. Also excluded are Internet gaming revenues from new online casinos in Delaware and New Jersey.
Nevada accounted for 28 percent of the industry’s revenues, and improved upon its 2012 performance with a solid 2.6 percent increase. Pennsylvania and New Jersey held second and third in terms of total revenue, but both reported declines in 2013; it was Pennsylvania’s first-ever drop in annual revenue. Louisiana’s 1.6 percent gain pushed it past the sagging Indiana into the fourth spot.
In percentage terms, Ohio and Maryland led the way, with new casinos driving substantial growth; the introduction of table games in Maryland also contributed to that state’s revenue increase. Maine and Arkansas were the only other jurisdictions to record double-digit gains. A full year of operations at a new casino in Maine, and strong performance of electronic games of skill in Arkansas, led to those results.
New facilities in Florida and Louisiana also spurred growth, Kansas benefitted from a full year of its three-casino lineup, and New York and Rhode Island turned in strong performance with existing operations.
On the flip side, more states saw revenues fall in 2013 than in the previous year – 14 compared to eight in 2012. And of the eight that reported declines in 2012, all but New Mexico were down again in 2013. They include Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and West Virginia. Competition continued to impact those jurisdictions.
Hardest hit in 2013 were Delaware, West Virginia and Indiana. The first two continue to experience the impact of intense competition in the mid-Atlantic area. Indiana, although sliding in recent years, suffered in 2013 with the opening of casinos in Ohio, which also impacted Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Delaware’s reported 2013 results weren’t quite as bad as they seemed – the 2012 data included an extra week of revenues because the timing of the Lottery’s reporting calendar meant that 2012 included 53 weeks versus 52 weeks in 2013.
In 2013, racetrack casinos lagged their more "traditional" counterparts in terms of annual growth, a stark contrast from recent years. The category had enjoyed strong growth as many of the newest markets entered the casino business by expanding their existing racetracks. Even with new racetrack casinos in Florida and Ohio, recent developments in Maine, Maryland and Ohio, plus the declines in Delaware and West Virginia, have changed the dynamic. Revenues at "traditional" casinos grew by 1.1 percent in 2013, compared to just 0.3 percent growth from racetrack casinos.
Dollars in millions; based on unaudited monthly or (in some cases) weekly reports.