The Billion-Dollar Growth of Online Gaming in The United States

The Billion-Dollar Growth of Online Gaming in The United States

Sports betting revenues in the United States have grown incredibly over the past two years thanks largely to the relaxation of online gambling laws allowing the industry to rake in BILLIONS in revenue.

It comes as no surprise that revenues are rocketing at the same time that more and more states are beginning to open up online gambling and sports betting. Combined with the forced quarantining of bettors over the past two years of COVID this has led to a major increase in online gambling.

The growing trend across the globe of countries embracing the iGaming industry in recent years – and their associated relaxations of online gambling regulations – has now reached North American shores.

source: Times Square Chronicles

The meteoric rise in online gambling opportunities

Although obviously online gambling is not fully legalized across the US as a whole, businesses have been making the most of the opportunities afforded to them in states like New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan.

There has already been over $2 billion in wagers for sports betting alone so far since the turn of the year – and that’s before we even take a look at online casino play and poker. Mobile sports wagering is viewed by many states as an “economic engine” with the power to grow significant funding for schools, health and wellbeing, grassroots sports and more.

More states relaxing gambling laws

We have recently seen neighboring Canada decide to flex its gambling industry muscle and has positioned itself as a leading player in this lucrative industry thanks to the C-218 bill (Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act) passed last year.

The bill allows Canadians to place bets on single-game sporting events for now, but there are plans to expand regulations when it comes to online gambling. And with Canada now ranked as one of the top ten largest gambling markets in the world, it makes sense that they would look to iGaming as the next step to reinforce that status.

Meanwhile, one of the many U.S. states enjoying such success at the moment is Illinois which is now the third-largest sports betting market last year. Sportsbooks in the Prairie State had a solid end to 2021 thanks to three consecutive months of $780m+ in betting revenues to total nearly $7bn in wagers for the year.

Online gambling in Michigan

Illinois is not the latest state to enter the online gaming scene. Legal Online Casinos are live in Michigan since Jan 2022 and have already generated incredible revenues to add to even more incredible online betting revenues last year.

Just some of the figures involved demonstrate just how lucrative this business has been, and will continue to be, for the state…

  • Michigan became the third state in US history to rake in more than $1 billion in annual revenue from online casino games and poker and the first to do so in its first year
  • MI bettors wagered $383,691,892 and sportsbooks kept $35,240,684 – more than double the state’s previous high for gross gaming revenue set in January
  • In its first full month of online sports betting (February 2021, Michigan took $325 million in wagers, of which $301 million was placed online
  • Online gambling operators paid $201.67 million in internet gaming taxes and fees to the state, and $7.27 million in online sports betting taxes and fees.

Michigan is a rarity in that it is one of only a handful of states that has opened up all three types of online gambling. MI residents are now able to visit online casinos to partake in their favorite slot games; take on some of the best (and worst!) in a Texas Hold’em battle via online poker tournaments, and wager on online sports betting including the NBA and MLB and even collegiate competitions.


And all of this can be done from the comfort of your own mobile device, tablet or laptop.

Revenue growth to outweigh gambling concerns?

Heading into this year all the projections were for even further growth – and with big sports play-offs including the NFL on the horizon as the New Year appeared state records were being broken for online gambling revenues all over the country, with a large proportion of the revenue coming from football.

Revenue from online gambling hit $373.4 million for February alone – slightly down from the previous (record-breaking) month but still almost 50% up on 2021. Clearly the figures are proving the sheer success of online gaming as more companies emerge and more and more players take part.

The revenue is only going to continue on its overall upward trajectory and continue to break records as more and more states get wise to the idea of legalization. But new states will be keeping a close eye on how new laws are being implemented elsewhere to ensure stringent standards are met by prospective operators and, with enforced regulation, the scourge of problem gambling and gambling addiction can be tempered.

The trend looks set to continue

Clearly, though, the success of those states like New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and now Michigan to massively increase their revenue streams via online gaming is one that most other states will want a piece of.

So what can we see for the rest of 2022?

Well, even more record-breaking revenue generating looks certain – starting with even more states legalizing iGaming and online betting as they begin to see the benefits elsewhere. New businesses equals new job creation and equals even more income for the state budget to benefit from thanks to the taxing of business profits and winnings.

As it stands there will always be a market for traditional in-person casinos but the sheer numbers of billions of dollars being generated online is a huge appeal. The nation’s casinos and gaming mobile apps combined brought in a stunning $53 billion in revenue last year, according to the American Gaming Association (up 21% from the previous annual record set in 2019).

And the way things are going with online gaming, those figures could well pale into insignificance in a couple of years. It’s definitely an exciting time to be involved!

Related Posts


I am a writer with a deep passion for reading and watching movies. You will find me with my nose buried in a book or screen most of the time.