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Online poker and casino games have tripled their revenue since last year when land-based casinos closed their doors

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John Landin of Las Vegas celebrates after winning blackjack during the reopening of the D hotel casino in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, June 4, 2020. Steve Marcus/Reuters

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Online casino games – where users gamble for real money by playing poker, slots and more – have grown in popularity in US states since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the American Gambling Association.

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In the second quarter, revenue from online games such as poker, slots and blackjack, known in the industry as ‘iGaming’, reached a record $402 million, almost triple the previous year’s revenue.

Their revenues also surpassed online sports betting, which was booming before the coronavirus with more than $360 million in revenue in the last quarter of 2019.

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At the same time, revenue from land-based casinos has fallen by 80 percent, according to the American Gaming Association. In the second quarter of last year, casinos were open approximately 42,000 days. Last quarter they were open for a quarter of this amount. In some states, such as Illinois, New Jersey and New York, casinos are closed for the entire second quarter of 2020.

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And while online sportsbooks DraftKings and FanDuel have outperformed their benchmarks over the past year, the pandemic has hit them hard as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, DraftKings went public in April with a market cap of $12 billion, overtaking brands like Caesars and MGM.

But as sporting events from Major League Baseball to the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed and canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, DraftKings and FanDuel revenues have fallen, serving as a barometer of sorts for the mood among sports leagues. Revenues will be restored when professional athletes return to the field.

Online casino games are well positioned to fill the void and increase gambling revenue where other industries have stagnated.

“Consumers like convenience,” said Casey Clark, vice president of the American Gaming Association, in an interview with Business Insider. “There was very little competition from land-based casinos in the second quarter.”

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The increase in revenue is especially impressive considering that online casino gaming is legal and operational in only five states: Nevada, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Online casino games are legal but not yet operational in Michigan, and poker is the only legal game in Nevada. The rest of the country is geo-fenced thanks to the federal wiretapping law.

A mix of companies is active in the field of online casino games. Some, like MGM and Caesar’s, which operates BetMGM and CaesarsCasino.com, are traditional brick-and-mortar casino operators that have expanded online. Others, like slot machine manufacturer Aristocrat, are gambling professionals getting in on the action. And some sportsbooks, like DraftKings, which launched casino games in July, are online sports betting companies that are diversifying beyond athletics.

Gaming experts see a lot of potential for online casino gaming and online sports betting to expand as more states legalize online gambling platforms as a new source of revenue.


“As states look for funding, we can expect interest in iGaming to grow,” Becky Harris, a distinguished fellow at the International Gaming Institute, told Business Insider. “This new revenue stream could help fund physical and mental health services, benefits for the unemployed or underemployed, government infrastructure programs, or many budget lines. However, gambling is not currently the biggest legislative concern.”

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While online sports betting and casino gaming are certainly predicted to grow, their revenue streams are still significantly greater than those of brick-and-mortar establishments. According to the American Gaming Association, land-based casinos generated $2.3 billion in the second quarter of 2020, despite dramatically low revenues. By the end of June, four of the five U.S. casinos had reopened. Americans Respond to Inflation by Turning to Gambling as Casino Industry Posts Best Quarter Ever, Earning $15 Billion

A dealer plays roulette at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, NJ on August 8, 2022.

Inflation? High gas prices? American gamblers shrug their shoulders – and lose money at record rates in casinos.

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

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The American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s trade body, says arcades are on track to have their best year ever in 2022.

Of the 33 states with gambling activity a year ago, 16 reported record quarterly gambling revenues, including five of the six largest markets: Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania.

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


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

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“I think this shows the continued appeal of gambling and that there may be even greater interest in it in uncertain times,” he said, citing the recent Powerball jackpot that surpassed $2 billion and attracted widespread interest from people in the entire country.

Commercial casinos (excluding tribal casinos, which report their revenue separately) won $15.17 billion from players in July, August and September of this year. It surpassed the record $14.81 billion set in the second quarter of this year by two percent.

Miller said the casino’s 8.8 percent annualized growth in the third quarter exceeded the 2.6 percent growth of the broader U.S. economy over the same period.

Country-specific slots and table games continue to underpin the industry’s revenue growth, generating a record $12.27 billion in the third quarter, up 1.8% year-over-year.

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Sports betting also posted a record quarterly revenue of $1.68 billion, up nearly 81% from a year ago. After September 2021, seven new betting markets have been added. The association cited a higher-than-normal betting winning rate and solid growth in the existing market as growth factors.

Sports betting revenues have already reached an all-time high of $4.78 billion in September, surpassing 2021’s annual record of $4.34 billion.

Internet gambling neared a new quarterly record, but fell less than 1%, with revenue of $1.21 billion. Sure you can play online, but nothing compares to visiting some of the best casinos in the world where you can marvel at their breathtaking decor, impressive gaming tables and exciting slot machines. You’ll certainly find some of the best casinos in the world in Sin City and other popular gambling destinations like Monte Carlo, but there are plenty of other great places around the world waiting to be explored. Before you pack your bags for a bet, check out our list of the world’s best casinos.


Located in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is the most profitable casino in the world. This luxury casino is located in the middle of the shopping center, so you don’t have to travel far to cash in on your winnings! The casino has 1,500 slot machines, 600 gaming tables and a breathtaking interior that creates a luxurious atmosphere. If you visit Singapore as a tourist, you can enter the casino for free. However, Singapore residents must pay $100 to enter, so make sure you bring a valid ID such as a passport to prove you are not a resident.

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There is no more beautiful casino than the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo. This casino hotel is the ultimate Monte Carlo destination, with all the glitz and glamor that Monte Carlo represents. This enchanting gambling house has appeared in several James Bond films, such as Casino Royale. After betting your luck in the casino, climb the stairs that lead to the impressive lobby of the Hôtel de Paris. From the breathtaking sculptures to the marble columns and crystal chandeliers, it’s easy to see why this is the one