The American Gaming Association reported overall commercial gaming revenue totaling just shy of $5 billion for the month of April on Thursday, a record for any April and the second-highest grossing month of all time, behind only March of this year.
Sports wagering had the highest year-over-year percentage increases among wagering disciplines, aided in part by both expansion into more markets and increased overall betting. Sportsbooks claimed gross revenue totaling nearly $498 million in April across 25 states excluding Arizona, surging 74.6% higher compared to the same juncture in 2021. In the 20 states where sports wagering was available both last year and this year, revenue increased 67.9% compared to April 2021.
The overall commercial revenue figure represented a 12.4% increase from April 2021, as 24 of the 31 states that were conducting commercial gaming last year reported year-over-year growth in 2022. It is also 6.8% lower compared to March, and the year-over-year growth percentage is slowing as more distance is gained from the capacity constraints necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Traditional casino gaming accounted for the bulk of the revenue, with operator winnings from table games climbing 26.3% from last year to $786.7 million. Slot revenue had a more modest increase at 2.2%, totaling more than $2.9 billion. Overall, casino gaming revenue totaled nearly $4.1 billion, a 5.7% increase from April of last year.
Gaming has generated more than $19.3 billion in revenue through the first four months of 2022, a 24.8% increase versus the same period in 2021 despite economic challenges that include labor shortages, rising inflation, and supply chain disruptions.
Northeast, Midwest keep flexing gaming muscles
Between Connecticut entering the landscape for sports wagering and iGaming, plus New York‘s grand splash in mobile sports wagering, it is no surprise the two have teamed with long-established New Jersey as strong revenue generators.
Both New York and New Jersey had solid year-over-year percentage increases of 51.7% and 20%, respectively, in April to claim $791 million combined in total operator revenue. Connecticut added another $32.3 million to that total, slightly above its monthly average considering the $125.3 million in year-to-date revenue.
Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan all reported double-digit increases versus April 2021. Illinois gaming revenue improved 27.1% to $193 million, but that figure was lagging behind the Wolverine State at $281.9 million and the Hoosier State at $256.8 million. It should be noted that Illinois’ revenue figures do not include video gaming terminal (VGT) play, a substantial driver of gambling revenue in the Land of Lincoln that significantly outperforms casinos.
Among states with at least two wagering disciplines, Mississippi had the sharpest year-over-year decline as April revenue tumbled 21.1% to $206.1 million. That swing dropped the Magnolia State slightly behind its January-to-April 2021 revenue totals, slipping 1.2% to $866.1 million for this year.
iGaming gains, Nevada revenue rebounds
With the addition of Connecticut to the five states previously offering iGaming, revenue in that wagering discipline increased 38.8% from April 2021 to $416.4 million in April 2022, falling just $6 million short of March’s high-water mark. When excluding the Nutmeg State, the year-over-year revenue total improved 31.2% versus the same time last year.
Combined iGaming and online sports wagering revenue tailed off slightly as an overall percentage of revenue to 18.3% compared to 19.2% in March. The two disciplines generated a combined $913.9 million in operator revenue.
As more people make their way back to Las Vegas as a tourist destination, gaming in Nevada posted gains compared to April 2021, as the $1.1 billion in overall revenue this April was 8.6% higher year-over-year. Gaming revenue in the Silver State has climbed 28.4% through the first four months of this year versus 2021, totaling nearly $4.7 billion.