Inflation worries notwithstanding, US casinos are having the best quarter

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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Inflation? High gas prices? American players are shedding them – and losing money in casinos at record speed.

Figures released Wednesday show that the US commercial casino industry had its best quarter ever, winning over $15 billion from players in the third quarter of this year.

The American Gaming Association, the trade body for the casino industry, says arcades are on track for 2022 to be their best year ever.

Of 33 states that had gambling activity a year ago, 16 reported quarterly highs in total gaming revenue, including five of the top six markets: Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania.

“While business challenges remain, strong consumer demand continues to drive our industry’s record-breaking success,” said Bill Miller, the association’s president and CEO. “Our continued momentum in the face of broader economic volatility indicates the overall health of gaming today and gives us confidence as we look to the future.”

David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said that regardless of the economic conditions, people are still willing to invest their money in casinos.

“I think it speaks to the enduring appeal of gambling and that there may be even more appetite for it in uncertain times,” he said, citing the recent Powerball jackpot that surpassed $2 billion and generated great interest from people across the country.

Commercial casinos (excluding tribal casinos, which report their earnings separately) won $15.17 billion from players in July, August and September of this year. That beat the previous record of $14.81 billion set in the second quarter of this year by 2%.

Miller said casinos’ CAGR of 8.8% in the third quarter exceeded the growth rate of the broader US economy of 2.6% over the same period.

Land-based slots and table games continue to drive the industry’s revenue growth, generating a record $12.27 billion in the third quarter, up 1.8% from the same period last year.

Sportsbook also posted a quarterly revenue record of $1.68 billion, up nearly 81% from a year ago. Seven new sports betting markets have been added since September 2021. The federation cited a higher than usual profit share in sports betting and solid growth in existing markets as factors behind the increase.

Sports betting revenue has already hit an all-time high of $4.78 billion through September, surpassing 2021’s full-year record of $4.34 billion.

Internet gaming was close to setting a new quarterly record, but was less than 1% off with revenue of $1.21 billion.

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Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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