Evolution of the Commercial Casino Industry

In recent years, the casino industry has been growing steadily, although the diversity in gambling options is seeing this growth happen in more different directions.

market graphGambling activities have been legalized in many different regions where they were previously prohibited. Examples of countries where changes regarding this subject occurred recently include the USA, the Netherlands and Sweden. According to Forbes, since the year 2018, around 30 US states legalized sports betting, some of them including online sports betting. In countries like the Netherlands and Sweden, gambling activities were exclusively under the control of their respective governments, but the markets are now open for private European casino and gambling operators too.

The land based casino industry has seen some struggles with the pandemic years and the associated restrictions for the population and the non-essential businesses, while the online industry quickly gained more traction, which also affected the brick-and-mortar establishments. All things considered, the casino industry is still expected to grow in the upcoming years. According to statista.com, the worldwide casino and online gambling industry market reached a total of 231 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. The projected numbers for the years 2022 to 2024 are higher and higher with each year.

The following table shows the gross gambling revenue of the most important gaming centers of the world for the last 3 years. The effects of the global crisis due to the pandemic are evident in many cases and the year 2021 shows the industry recovering.

Rank Location Revenue (billion USD)*
2019 2020 2021
1 🇺🇸 Nevada (US) $11,96 $7,8 $13,4
2 🇫🇷 France $11,46 $10,36 $11,48
3 🇲🇴 Macau $29 $7,57 $10,86
4 🇩🇪 Germany $11,52 $10,52 $6,51
5 🇺🇸 New Jersey (US) $3,29 $2,65 $4,73
6 🇸🇬 Singapore $1,67
7 🇿🇦 South Africa $1,78 $1,89 $1,34
8 🇨🇦 Ontario (Canada) $4,80 $4,27 $2,18
9 🇬🇧 United Kingdom $17,22 $15,40 $17,09
10 🇰🇷 South Korea $8,2
11 🇦🇺 Australia $6,6
12 🇷🇴 Romania $0.96

* November 2022 currency conversion rates applied.
** Check footer sources for data references.

USA casino markets are seeing revenues go up

As reported by the americangaming.org Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, the USA gambling activities are bringing in more and more revenue each year. In August 2022, land-based casinos, sports betting and iGaming within the US states reached a total of $4.89 billion in revenues. The AGA website also indicates that August 2022 is the 18th consecutive month when reports show positive revenue growth, with a record 10% increase when compared to August 2021.

Macau – an industry leader facing adversity

Based on data from The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau of Macau (DICJ), 42 (as of 2021) brick-and-mortar casinos currently operate in Macau. The gambling industry is one of the driving forces of Macau’s economy, with gambling tourism being a very important factor. The special administrative region of Macau is known as the Gambling capital of the world and it has had a very strong course in this sense over the years, with growth at an impressive pace since 2001. It was also faced with great challenges in the last years: the COVID-19 pandemic came with strict border control measures in mainland China, which has substantially impacted the gambling tourism. Other measures related to the pandemic also contributed to the casino revenues dropping in Macau.

Reports indicate that, between the years 2019 and 2021, Macau has experienced drops in gross revenue of its casinos by roughly 70%. In 2021, the gross revenue from games of fortune in Macau rose up to around 87 billion Macanese patacas (around 10,77 billion US dollars). While the evolution of the aforementioned data was not ideal for Macau, the region is still maintaining an industry leader position, and it is currently seeing a slow recovery in terms of growth of the casino industry.

Land based casino revenues

casino industryBrick-and-mortar casinos are far from being obsolete, although the online gambling market is expanding rapidly and it is bringing in more and more players. A report published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) dives deeper into the gambling revenues brought by land-based gambling sites versus online gambling products. This report includes sports betting and other gambling options, along with casino slots and table games.

As evidenced in the report, the year 2020 saw the United Kingdom as the top of the list for gambling revenues, with approximately €16 billion as total revenue, out of which 59,3% comes from the online markets. The UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Romania have some of the highest percentages of gambling revenue coming from online activities.

European leaders in the gambling world in terms of gross revenue include Italy (approximately €13 billion), Germany, (approx. €12 billion), France (approx. €10 billion), Spain (approx. €6 billion) and the Netherlands (approx. €3 billion) – 20% to 30% of the revenue generated by gambling activities in these countries comes from online gambling.

In the USA, statista.com reports show Nevada as the leading commercial casino revenue earner, as it has always been, with $14,43 billion in 2021, followed by Pennsylvania ($4,83 bn) and New Jersey ($4,73 bn). Towards the end of 2021, reports by AGA showed a total of $44.15 billion collected by the 987 commercial casinos in the country.

Online casino gambling revenues

As previously mentioned, online gambling activities are attracting more and more players and the revenues increase accordingly. According to the EGBA report, the combined online gross gaming revenue for EU-27 and UK online gambling markets rose up to €10,9 billion. Online casino products generated €4,6 billion, which translated to 42% out of the combined revenue.
In the USA, six states allowed online casino gambling in 2021, and the combined revenue generated by these states reached $3.7 billion.

The following table shows the percentage from the gross gambling revenue that was generated by online gambling activities in EU-27 and UK online gambling markets.

Rank Country Online revenue (%)*
1 Sweden 66,2
2 Denmark 59,4
3 United Kingdom 59,3
4 Finland 58,5
5 Romania 56,7
6 Estonia 56
7 Lithuania 54
8 Belgium 53
9 Ireland 52
10 Czech Republic 51
11 Latvia 48
12 Slovakia 48
13 Cyprus 47
14 Greece 46
15 Poland 44

* Data points may be adjusted for rounding purposes.
** Check footer sources for data references.

Top gambling software companies

Gambling software refers to computer software that is designed for administering and leading gambling on the internet, as well as embedded in physical slot machines.

As reported by emergenresearch.com, the most profitable companies that are now dominating the gambling software industry are Novomatic ($2 billion revenue), Playtech plc ($1 billion), Play’n Go ($63 million), Betsoft Gaming ($25 million), Genesis Gaming Solutions, Inc. ($21 million), GammaStack ($21 million), Quickspin ($18 million), Push Gaming ($18 million), Microgaming ($10 million), SoftSwiss ($7 million).

Top land based casino operators by revenue

Reports from 2018 published on the netent.com website indicate that the list of top casinos by revenue is mostly dominated by US casinos, which is to be expected with the Las Vegas Strip being the most famous casino hub in the world.

The top casino companies by revenue include Las Vegas Sands (US – $13,8 billion), MGM Resorts (US – $11,8 billion), Caesars Entertainment (US – $8,4 billion), Galaxy Entertainment Group (Hong Kong, China – $7 billion), Wynn Resorts (US – $6,7 billion), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (Hong Kong, China – $5,2 billion), SJM Holdings Ltd. (Hong Kong, China – $4,4 billion), Penn National Gaming (US – $3,6 billion), Boyd Gaming (US – $2,6 billion), Crown Resorts (Australia – $2,5 billion) and Genting (Malaysia – $1,9 billion).

Top online casinos by revenue

Online casinos are extremely lucrative and they generate significant revenues. Depending on how the brick-and-mortar casino markets work as well, in certain countries the revenue generated by online gambling activities surapasses that generated by physical casino and gambling establishments.

According to data provided by owogram.com, the biggest companies in the online gambling world include Flutter Stars Group ($4,24 billion revenue), GVC Holdings ($4,13 billion revenue), Bet365 ($3,35 billion revenue), Scientific Games ($3,07 billion revenue), The Stars Group ($2,29 billion revenue), William Hill ($1.79 billion revenue), International Games Technology ($1,04 billion revenue), Bet Fred ($905 million revenue), Kindred Group ($894 million revenue) and 888 Holdings Plc ($670 million net worth).


Within the economical and health crisis context in the last few years, the gambling and casino industry has had a fair share of challenges to overcome. Land-based casinos and gambling establishments have had to close their doors to customers for certain periods of time, certain regions were impacted by the limited mobility of the population the most, and the effects of all of these were seen, in some cases, in the financial reports and the associated statistics that showed drops in revenue or significantly slower overall growth.

As the context changes and certain threats to the industry’s performance are no longer relevant, markets are seeing growth and record breaking numbers. As specified by thebusinessresearchcompany.com, “the global gambling market grew from $287.43 billion in 2021 to $456.61 billion in 2022”. Projected numbers show that the global gambling market is expected to grow all the way to $840.29 billion in 2026.

** Sources:

Data Table 1:

Gross revenue from Gaming and Gambling in Macao
Nevada Casinos: Departmental Revenues, 1984-2021
French Gambling Market Generates Gross Gambling Revenue of €10.7B in 2021
Australian Gaming Council
Casinos Gaming in S Koreak
Germany Gross Gaming revenue Distribution
Gambling Sector Performance Sumary S Africa
Industry Statistics November 2021
Forbes Nevada Hits all time record of 134 billion in gambling revenue in 2021
Forbes Nevada Hits 12th consecutive month in 1 billion in gambling revenue
Macau Casino falls 79pct in full year 2020
NV departments historic
French Gambling Market Generates Gross Gambling Revenue of €10.7B in 2021
NJ Financials Press Release 2021 December 2021
NJ Reports
Gross gaming revenue distribution gambling Germany
Industry statistics july 2022 revision
Gambling in Canada 2020-2021
UK industry statistics november 2022

Data Table 2

European Online Gambling Key Figures 2021 Edition