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Michigan Takes the Lead as Biggest iGaming Market in the US

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The American Gaming Association (AGA) has reported the latest data on US gambling, shedding light on how the industry is moving. While land-based gambling is still strong, iGaming is growing, and Michigan has now taken over New Jersey as the largest online gambling market.

US iGaming Inches Forward

While mobile sports betting continues its meteoric rise, online casinos experienced a respectable 23% year-over-year revenue increase in 2023. Michigan took the crown from New Jersey as the top earner, highlighting the sector's geographical diversification. Notably, online gaming accounted for a significant 24.7% of all commercial revenue, including mobile sports betting, showcasing its growing importance.

Brick-and-mortar casinos still pack a punch, with the nation's establishments generating a healthy $49.4 billion in 2023, reflecting a 3.3% year-over-year increase. Interestingly, the average casino visitor is getting younger, with the report revealing a four-year trend of declining age, hitting 42 in 2023 compared to 50 in 2019.

Nevada maintains its dominance as the leading retail casino market, followed by familiar names like New Jersey, Chicagoland, the Baltimore-D.C. corridor and Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Outside these traditional hubs, Resorts World New York emerged as the top non-Nevada earner, followed closely by Maryland's MGM National Harbor.

However, the report doesn't shy away from industry challenges. AGA CEO Bill Miller reiterated the organization's commitment to tackling unregulated offshore operators, acknowledging the complexities posed by international cooperation and extradition laws.

Skill Games Present Challenges

Closer to home, the report delves into the controversial skill game industry, with machines often found in convenience stores and bars aiming for legalization.

Chris Cylke, AGA's senior vice president of government relations, cited Pennsylvania as an example with a regulatory framework for these games, arguing their skill element is minimal compared to slots. However, this framework hasn't stopped unregulated operators from flooding the state with their machines, estimated to be over 100,000 according to Miller.

Ultimately, the report paints a picture of an evolving industry with a lot of potential. While online gaming shows promise and brick-and-mortar casinos remain popular, the AGA actively addresses challenges like offshore operators and unregulated competition. Experts predict the potential for 35% annual growth across the iGaming segment for the next decade, depending on how many more states join the market.

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