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Americans Lost More Money Gambling In Q1 2022 Than Ever Before

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: May 27, 2022
Casinos, sportsbooks, and other gambling venues took $5.31 billion out of the US economy in Q1 2022, the most on record.
A woman bets on horses prior to the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, 2018 in Elmont, New York. Americans lost $5.31 billion to casinos and other commercial outlets in Q1 2022, the highest Q1 on record. (Image: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The U.S. gaming industry posted its most profitable Q1 in history this year, states an industry advocacy website.

However, this figure naturally implies that gamblers had their worst Q1 in history, a notable figure considering shrinking savings, rising credit loads, and massive inflation amid a looming food crisis.

Based on May 11 data published by the American Gaming Association (AGA), commercial gaming revenues hit $14.31 billion in Q1 2022, and was described as “the industry’s best start to a year on record.”

The figure is even more notable in light of the fact that Q4 2021 notched the AGA’s best single quarter record in history.


The report noted “significant gains in slot and table revenue,” in addition to “all-time quarterly highs for sports betting and iGaming.”

But perhaps most prominently, “March marked the single highest-grossing month in commercial gaming history,” the AGA stated, as casinos and other professional outlets took $5.31 billion out of the economy. 

That profit level amounted to an 18.5 percent increase year over year and is of specific note considering casinos were open and operational in March of 2021, the Association states.

Not only did Florida, Arkansas, and New York State post all-time high quarterly gaming revenues, with New York being the highest at $996.6 million, 29 of 31 jurisdictions posted year over year gains and 23 of the 29 posted at least double digit increases.

Specific data showed that New Mexico and Virginia both posted triple digit year over year revenue gains at 162.4 and 136.4 percent respectively.

Another notable figure of the data is that brick and mortar table games and slot machine revenues comprised the bulk of the revenue at $11.50 billion, a 22.7 percent yearly increase and a 10.6 percent increase from before the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pseudo pandemic deformed the normal way of human life in 2019. 

Slot and table revenue, however, was down from Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2021, the AGA noted. 

Moreover, the AGA noted that after New York allowed online sports betting to go live on Jan. 8, sportsbooks made $320.9 million in revenue on $4.87 billion in wagers.

The data is significant in light of an April 20 academic study published by economists from the London Business School analyzing U.S. stock and options trades that utilized a regulatory loophole to ascertain the trades and performance of retail traders on gamified apps such as Robinhood. 

The study found that retail traders lost $1.14 billion on directly failed trades between November of 2019 and present, but more pointedly lost an additional $4.13 billion when trading costs were aggregated.