News and Analysis
American Gaming Association: US Remains on Course for Highest-Ever Grossing Year
The American Gaming Association has released figures for quarter three, 2023, revealing it as the industry's best third quarter on record and the 11th quarter of consecutive growth for the US. In total, $16.17 billion was generated, according to the AGA's commercial gaming revenue tracker, which is up 6.1% YoY. This quarter is also the second-highest grossing on record.
Increased revenue was witnessed across all verticals, particularly iGaming, which was up 26% YoY. Meanwhile, in-person and online sports betting saw a 22.8% increase caused by new states legalizing the activity (Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Ohio).
AGA President and CEO Ben Miller commented, "With growth across land-based and online gaming, we are delivering career opportunities for millions of Americans and strong economic contributions to communities across the country through increased tax revenue."
He also reminded stakeholders that while record numbers of bettors were using legal platforms and migrating away from offshore options as new states opened their markets, there was a "need for federal and state enforcement against illegal, offshore operators."
The State of Play: Revenue Round-Ups for October
Continuing on the financial theme, revenue figures are in for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Delaware for October 2023 - let's take a look.
Gambling revenue in NJ was up 9.3%, with online casinos and sportsbooks steaming ahead. Total revenue reached $487.1m for the month, up on last year but down 6.6% on September's figures. Revenue from online games also increased by 13.3%. The most popular NJ online casino was Golden Nugget, then Resorts, with Borgata in third. Sports betting revenue increased 18.4% YoY.
Total gambling revenue in PA increased 7.3% YoY, hitting $483m. Retail slots contributed almost 40% of the total. iGaming also showed a substantial yearly increase, up 24.3%, totaling $154.8m, but fell short of September 2023's record-breaking $159.5m. Hollywood Casino was the most popular PA gambling site, followed by FanDuel and BetRivers.
In Michigan, online sports bettors broke records, placing a massive $533m in bets. It was the first time online wagers in the state have exceeded $500m. However, when accounting for promotional spending, adjusted gross receipts (AGR) looked quite different; the market posted a total of $167.7m for iGaming and sports, which was up 5.8% YoY. Breaking it down, iGaming grew by 13.9%, while sports AGR fell by 26.1% YoY. Land-based casino revenue also declined, down 19.5% compared with October last year. However, this is in the context of Michigan's ongoing casino worker strikes (more on this below)
Lastly, Delaware witnessed a 173.1% monthly increase in sports betting revenue, with the total peaking at $2.6m, up from $958,547 in September 2023. Sadly, the same increase was not visible in iGaming, as revenue dropped 18% YoY and 11.3% compared with September this year. Delaware Park remained the most popular online casino in Delaware for sports betting and iGaming.
PariPlay Joins Hard Rock NJ Games Lobby
PariPlay becomes the latest content aggregator to join the casino ranks at Hard Rock Bet NJ. Under the agreement, PariPlay will provide its full suite of games, along with titles from its popular in-house studio, Wizard Games.
This move will bolster Hard Rock’s lobby (currently home to around 500 options) and provide players with hit titles, including Dragons of the North, Wolf Riches, Wildwood Buffalo, and Book of Eternal Romance.
Senior Casino VP at Hard Rock, Grant Williams, said, "We're thrilled to be adding Wizard Games' expansive and innovative portfolio to our highly rated Hard Rock Bet platform in New Jersey. With a huge selection of slots, table games, and live dealer options, Hard Rock Bet is entertaining our players like no one else can."
Detroit Casino Strikes Continue
On Monday, after 32 days of strike action, news broke that a tentative deal had been struck between Detroit's three land-based casinos and union workers. However, despite scoring the largest pay increase in the history of Detroit Casinos (18%), employees from MGM Grand have turned down the deal, deciding to stay put at the picket.
In contrast, 2,100 employees from Hollywood Casino and Motor City Casino voted in favor of the new contracts, leaving MGM to return to the negotiation table alone.
In other news:
- The Florida Supreme Court rejected a motion to stop the re-launch of Hard Rock Bet.
- Fanatics West Virginia is now live and offering sports betting and casino games. Players who previously held PointsBet WV accounts can use the same login details. Accounts have been automatically migrated, including balances, reward points, and responsible gambling settings.
Game of the Week
Electric Jungle - Bragg Gaming (Atomic Slot Lab), RTP: 95.57%
You might be wondering how a slot game with a slightly below-average RTP made it to our slot game of the week rankings. Well, the answer is simple: this new game provides action-packed gameplay, and a re-spins feature that we can't stop talking about.
Set on 5x4 reels with 50 lines, it takes players deep into the rainforest for electrifying wins, and it's all about the Re-Spins and Free Spins features. Let's start with the Re-Spins.
To unlock the round, you must land 6 or more Golden Gorilla Scatters, which provides 3 Re-Spins. This round is epic, as each row can expand and has positions that spin individually. During the round, you aim to collect more Golden Scatters. Each new one that lands sticks then expands the reel to create an extra reel position. It also resets the spins to 3. If you grow the reels to the maximum potential additional prizes, including Free Spins, multipliers, or one of four fixed jackpots, are up for grabs.
If you don't hit Free Spins through the Re-Spins round, don't worry; you can also trigger it using the second Scatter symbol, the game logo, in the base game. Simply land 3, 4, or 5 scatter for 10, 20, or 50 spins. You can also re-trigger the round while you play, and line wins of 6 or more symbols transform into Gem Wilds!
Ready to take this thrilling new slot for a spin? Then stakes start from $0.50 to $200, the max payout potential is 5,680x your bet, and you can play it at these Bragg Gaming Casinos.
All right, that’s it for this week, folks. From the Casino Cabbie team, we wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving - enjoy celebrating!