Commercial gaming refers to the business of creating and distributing video games for profit. This includes both traditional video games played on gaming consoles and computers as well as mobile games played on smartphones and tablets.
Commercial gaming involves the development and publishing of games by game studios and publishers, and the distribution and sale of those games through various channels, such as physical retail stores, online stores, and digital distribution platforms. The gaming industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, and commercial gaming has become a major part of the entertainment industry worldwide.
Commercial gaming in the US set a new record in 2022, registering annual revenue of $60.4 billion to surpass the previous high of $53.0 billion set in 2021, the American Gaming Association (AGA)’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker revealed.
US Commercial Gaming Sets New Record in 2022 with Annual Revenue of $60.4 Billion
Tracking financial performance across commercial gaming based on state revenue reports, AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker showed that the market comprised 34 states and the D.C. which featured commercial gaming in 2022, recorded its first year with revenue above the $60 billion mark. Tribal gaming revenue was not included as it is accounted for by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Commenting on the results, AGA’s president and chief executive officer Ben Miller announced that the gaming industry had “significantly outpaced expectations in 2022,” as adults in America had preferred “casino gaming for entertainment in record numbers,” shifting market share from the predatory, illegal marketplace” to the legalized operators and generating revenue streams for their communities.
Records did not end with the annual revenue amount as the fourth quarter posted an all-time high in commercial gaming revenue, driven by sports betting and iGaming which both marked single-quarter highs, while traditional gaming registered a growth of 1.7%.
80.5% of the annual revenue figure was attributed to retail gaming, leaving the remaining 19.5% to online gaming, which registered a new high as the industry is focused on product diversification.
Sports Betting and iGaming Drive Q4 Revenue Highs in US Commercial Gaming Industry
34% of the adult population in the US, or 84 million Americans, visited a casino in 2022, including one located in the new casino markets in Nebraska and Virginia, contributing to the double-digit growth in table games revenue which was up 13.9%. Revenue from slot games accounted for steady growth of 5.1%.
The sports betting handle in 2022 was $93.2 billion, driven by the continued expansion of the legal sports betting market as Kansas introduced retail and mobile wagering and Louisiana, Maryland and New York launched mobile sports betting. Revenue from sportsbook operations was $7.5 billion.
The online casino vertical grew by 35.2% year-over-year in 2022 to surpass the $5 billion revenue mark despite the limited number of legal iGaming states. The Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City retained their top positions, with the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. market coming third, followed by Chicagoland and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Commenting on the year ahead, Miller was full of optimism despite the current macroeconomic headwinds and confident that, a proper focus “on combatting the illegal market, doubling down on responsibility, and creating favorable policy and regulatory conditions,” will allow the industry to carry the strong momentum into 2023.
Overall, commercial gaming has become a major cultural and economic force, with millions of people playing games and consuming gaming-related content worldwide.