The 465 commercial casinos operating in the United States at the end of 2019 reported a combined revenue of $43.6 billion -- an all-time high. Gambling in the United States is by no means limited to casinos, either. All but six states had lottery games in 2019, and lottery ticket sales totalled $81.6 billion that year.
Between both lotteries and commercial casinos, Americans and tourists spent $125.2 billion on gambling in 2019 -- or about $491 for every adult in the country. Of course, gambling laws, which can restrict gambling opportunities, vary by state, as does interest in gambling. And residents of some states spend far more on lottery tickets and at casinos than others.
Casinos in California house a total of 75,369 gaming machines, more than in every other state except Nevada. Spread over 77 tribal casinos, none of those gaming machines, however, are located in a commercial casino, so spendings on those were not included.
In November 1983, voters in California passed a proposition legalizing a state lottery. The proceeds from lottery ticket sales are used to fund the state's public school system. Lottery ticket sales in the state totalled $7.4 billion in 2019, more than in every other state except New York. However, per capita annual lottery ticket sales comes out to just $241, less than in 27 states.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Gaming Association, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states spending the most and least on gambling. States were ranked based on total spending on lottery tickets and in commercial casino gaming per adult 18 years and over in 2019. Gaming revenue refers to the amount earned by commercial casinos after winnings have been paid out to patrons.
Exactly what constitutes commercial casino revenue can vary by state. See the AGA report for a full methodological explanation.It is important to note that while there were 524 tribal casinos in the United States in 2019, these institutions are subject to different regulations than commercial casinos, and revenue from these establishments were not included in this story. Click here to see how much people spend on the lottery in every state.
|Rank||State||Lottery and casino spending per adult; 2019 ($)||Lottery ticket sales per adult ($)||Commercial casino consumer spending per adult ($)|