The recent proliferation of legalized gambling has empowered gaming enthusiasts to wager locally more comfortably than ever before. The nation-leading New York sports betting market is further proof.
Players no longer need to plan trips to faraway places or risk dealing with unregulated institutions to enjoy their favorite slots, table games and more. With so many states now authorizing the operation of online casinos in addition to the increased construction of land-based casinos across the country, EmpireStakes.com wanted to assess what states love casinos and gambling the most.
How We Determined This List
We developed these rankings by combining four data points into a single metric for all 50 states. We used UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research report for 2022 casino revenue; Google Trends for the states that most frequently searched the terms “online casino” and “casinos near me,” plus Wikipedia to determine the number of casinos per capita. If the Empire State adopted mobile casino options, it would include such popular options as New York online slots, blackjack, table games and more.
For the revenue and casinos per capita category, we gave 50 points for the top state in the category down to 1 point for the bottom state. The two Google Trends search rankings are combined into the “Most Searches” category so that column is on a scale up to 100 possible points.
So, how does the Empire State’s casino culture compare to the rest of the country?
Ranking of Casino-Loving States
New York Tied For 12th On List
New York ended up outside the top 10 in these rankings, but its residents have still clearly embraced casino gambling since its widespread launch in the state following a 2013 referendum.
Online casino gaming remains illegal, but 24 commercial, tribal and hybrid racetrack/casinos now operate within New York. That ranks in the top 15 nationally for sheer number of casinos; however, the state’s large population (nearly 20.5 million) drops it down to 28th in the casinos per capita category.
That huge number of residents drives a substantial amount of traffic to the state’s licensed operators. New York based casinos generated more than $4.1 billion in 2022 revenue, according to UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. That’s fifth in the country behind only Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Revenue was also up 53.3% year over year from 2021 at the Empire State’s casinos, by far the largest rise in the nation.
New York’s Gaming Revenue
Operators hauled in over $300 million every month in 2022, and those numbers appear on the rise. February 2023 data has yet to be released, but New York casinos reached $400 million in monthly gross income for the first time this January, an increase of 22.9% compared to January 2022.
Additionally, the New York City market rated as the country’s sixth-biggest commercial casino market for 2022 per the American Gaming Association, with Resorts World New York City earning more than all but one property outside the state of Nevada despite only offering electronic gaming terminals.
And none of these figures include the online wagering handle at New York sports betting apps, which has exploded to become the largest in the country after its introduction in January 2022.
Some retail casinos could already legally offer in-person sports betting (which is included in the data discussed) prior to this. But the overwhelming majority of the $16.2 billion that New Yorkers bet on sports last year was done online.
Next Battle: New York Online Casinos
The next frontier for gambling in the Empire State will be the fight over New York online casino gaming. Only six states currently allow online casino gaming, but three of them border New York (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut).
As such, State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens) proposed a bill last month that would bring iGaming to the state, though getting it through the legislature and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul could prove difficult. This likely helps explain why New York finished in the middle of the pack in the search categories.
Stay locked in to EmpireStakes.com for more developments and stories like this, plus the best NY sportsbook promos with March Madness, baseball season and the NHL and NBA playoffs approaching.