Legal Gaming Revenues Reach New Highs In 2023 Ahead OF NC Sports Betting Launch

North Carolina will enter the US gaming industry as it soars to new heights.

Last year marked the third consecutive year of record-breaking revenue. This news came from the annual State of the Industry report by the American Gaming Association. Combined total earnings from land-based casinos, sports betting, and iGaming topped out at $66.52 billion for the year, a substantial 10% increase compared to the previous record year, 2022.

The release does not account for tribal gaming revenue, which is expected to be disclosed by the National Indian Gaming Commission later this year. Based on estimations, the overall national gaming revenue for 2023 is poised to approach a staggering $110 billion. The American gaming industry ended 2023 on a high note by achieving all-time quarterly and monthly records.

In the fourth quarter, a robust 9.5 percent year-over-year surge propelled online gaming revenue to $17.42 billion. December was the standout month for the year as it generated $6.22 billion in revenue, marking a substantial 13.3% year-on-year increase and setting a new record for the most money wagered in a single month in America’s history.

North Carolina online sports betting finally passed into law last year and will debut on March 11.

Gaming Taxes Contribute To State Revenue

The surge in commercial gaming revenue last year positively impacted the fiscal health of state and federal governments across the country.

According to the data, commercial gaming operators brought in an estimated $14.42 billion in gaming taxes for the year, resulting in a notable 9.7 percent increase from the previous year. Q4 2023 witnessed a remarkable expansion in gaming revenue, allowing a record-breaking influx of taxes. When North Carolina launches online sports betting, the state will tax the industry at 18%, and NCSharp projects that the state will generate $126 million in tax revenue in the first year.

Operators disbursed an estimated $3.72 billion in gaming taxes, representing an impressive 8.5% year-over-year uptick. It’s important to note that these figures specifically pertain to state and local taxes directly tied to gaming revenue, which are typically reported on a monthly or quarterly basis. They do not encompass annual fees or the sports betting excise taxes remitted to the federal government.

Additionally, these numbers do not account for the substantial additional contributions made by the industry in terms of income taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes and various corporate levies.

Collectively, casino slots and table games amassed $49.36 billion in revenue, marking a 3.3 percent increase compared to the previous year, while sports betting grew by 44% from 2022 to peak at $10.92 billion in revenue. Similarly, iGaming revenue witnessed robust expansion, surging by 22.9 percent year-over-year to reach $6.17 billion. While casinos are currently available on North Carolina tribal lands, online casinos in North Carolina remain illegal.

Despite the emerging popularity of online gaming platforms, traditional in-person gaming remains the cornerstone of the industry. Currently, the revenue generated from legal online sports betting is only 1/5th of the revenue from casinos in the United States. Together, casino slot machines, table games and retail sports betting accounted for the majority of revenue in 2023, totaling $50.02 billion or 75.3 percent of the total revenue.

NC Sports Betting Revenue will contribute to $11 billion stream

National sports betting revenue surged by an impressive 44% in 2023. It climbed from $7.56 billion in 2022 to a substantial $10.92 billion to end the year.

The amount wagered on sports grew substantially as well, reaching $119.84 billion. This marked a 27.8 percent uptick from the previous year. The growth in revenue outpaced the growth in betting handle by closing the year with an average hold of 9.1%, up from 2022’s 8.1%. NCSharp expects the state to generate $6-$7 billion in total bets in its first year of online sports betting.

The last quarter of the year was the most lucrative quarter for American sports betting ever.

The fall sporting calendar propelled legal sportsbook revenue to $3.41 billion, a massive 30.8% increase from last year. The previous record for the most lucrative quarter was Q1 2023, 19.6% lower than the record established at the end of 2023. The revenue numbers for sports betting do not include the complete numbers from Arizona and Kentucky.

North Carolina’s launch of sports betting on March 11 comes at during unprecedented growth within the sports betting industry. This launch symbolizes the widespread recognition of the potential for revenue generation and economic growth offered by legalized sports betting.

About the Author

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro is a sports betting writer at NCSharp. With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specializations include soccer, football, basketball, tennis and esports betting.