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Gambling in the U.S. - statistics & facts

While gambling is legal under United States federal law, each state can regulate or prohibit it as it sees fit. The gross gaming revenue of the gambling industry in the U.S. reached almost 53 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, growing significantly over the 2020 figure which was impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When looking at the breakdown of gross gambling revenue in the U.S., by segment, slots brought in the highest portion of revenue in both 2020 and 2021. Slot machines are often found in brick-and-mortar establishments like casinos, while casinos are well-known locations for gambling, they are not legal in every state. The number of commercial casinos in the U.S. reached 466 in 2021, meanwhile, the number of tribal casinos reached 515.

Sports betting in the U.S.

In 2021, the total sports betting revenue in the U.S. reached over 4.33 billion U.S. dollars. Sports betting was legalized at the federal level in the U.S. in 2018, leading to each state being able to do as it pleases in regard to legislating and legalizing sports betting. As of December 2021, the most commonly used sports betting service by regular sports bettors in the U.S. was DraftKings. Meanwhile, during that same month, the most important factors among regular sports bettors when choosing a sports betting service in the U.S. varied. Approximately 60 percent of sports bettors considered the ease of cashing out to be very important, while only 21 percent of sports bettors considered that same category to be somewhat important.

Las Vegas: the home of U.S. gambling

Millions of people visit Las Vegas each year with the intention of gambling. A mid-2021 survey determined that the share of visitors who gambled in Las Vegas in the U.S. was as high as 73 percent. Given Las Vegas is famed for its casinos, it may come as no surprise that casino gaming revenue in Nevada amounted to 8.45 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, up from the previous year’s total of 6.75 billion U.S. dollars. In addition, the Las Vegas-based company MGM Resorts was the leading casino company in the world by revenue. While Las Vegas has had a long time to establish its gambling stronghold, it faces more competition now that sports betting has been legalized on a federal level. If more states continue to grow their gambling markets by allowing sports betting and online forms of gambling, Las Vegas may not be the only home of U.S. gambling in the future.


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