Whatever the legal status of gambling in America over the last couple of hundred years, there has always been gambling. Legislators have prohibited it; moralizers called out its potential evils, state financiers saw its benefits, and federal, and state politicians argued over who should control it. But the bottom line is that people have played cards and rolled dice regardless of who says what they can and cannot do. So wherever you live in the USA, unless you are a Utah or Hawaii resident, you can gamble legally in your home state.
For many people, however, having a wager or playing at the casino is worth a trip. So, many people like to plan a vacation or weekend away with a visit to the casino as part of the action. Where are America’s top casino hotspots?
Las Vegas is the self-proclaimed gambling capital of the world. It is where the excitement and glamour came together to create what must be one of the USA’s most alluring destinations. Gambling on the Las Vegas Strip was worth $7.05 billion in 2021. How much hotter can you get than that? Rising out of the Nevada Desert, over 70% of guests visiting the city said they would be gambling at a casino during their visit. Nowhere in the US comes close to Sin City regarding gambling revenues. It was also the first City to shake off the shackles of prohibition and see the opportunities for the state to make money off the back of a much-loved pastime.
The inclusion of Delaware might come as a surprise, but it depends on how these hotspots are ranked. Is it size or timing? Vegas was the first and is the largest. Delaware, tiny in comparison, was the first to legalize online casinos. Ironically, Delaware online casinos were not the first to go live to the public. There was a race in 2013 between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Delaware had to do most of the leg work, and Nevada only legislated to allow online poker.
Delaware’s online casino revenue at $308.8 million is dwarfed by the take of the USA’s gambling behemoth, but it still deserves an honorable mention. In addition, there are three land-based casinos in Delaware for visitors to enjoy.
Atlantic City is Vegas’s nearest rival. The resort city grew up after casinos were legalized here in 1976. Its shoreline, fun fair, and boardwalk offer something very different from its desert rival. However, with gambling revenues at approximately a third of Vegas’s, it is not even a close second at $2.57 billion a year. New Jersey has the advantage of online casinos and sports betting. When you factor these in, its total take was a much more respectable $4.7 billion, nudging it closer, but still some way off, to the number one spot. In-person gambling was down in the state during the period, and online casinos were up.
Resorts Digital won $450 million, making one platform worth more in the state than Delaware’s online market. But, as the old saying goes, it is horses for courses, of course, as the population of Delaware is tiny in comparison.
Chicago Area And Baltimore – Washington DC
These two areas have been grouped because their casino takes were similar in 2021. They are also the only two other hotspots with over $2 billion yield. Chicago casinos won $2.01 billion, and those in Baltimore $2 billion. Legal casino gambling in both these locations is restricted to land-based activities.
Regarding casino hotspots, Detroit is ranked lower regarding revenue than New York City, Gulf Coast, and Philadelphia, which all won over $1.4 billion in 2021. Detroit’s casino business brought in nearly $1.3 billion in the same period. However, it climbs above them if you consider online casino revenues.
Also, if you want to look at rankings differently, it could be argued that Michigan uses its gambling revenues in the most beneficial way for its residents. For example, the Michigan Gaming Control Board collected $2.5 billion in taxes to support the Michigan Schools Aid Fund. These taxes paid in 2021 come from revenues and receipts generated by casino slots, casino table games, retail sports betting, internet gaming, internet sports betting, and fantasy contests.
The executive director of MGCB, Henry Williams, said,
“Dollars invested in education are critical to the development of Michigan’s future workforce. My MGCB colleagues and I are proud to play our role in helping Michigan schools by collecting wagering taxes on legal, regulated gaming.”
We could not have a look at the USA’s gambling hotspots and not mention St Louis, Missouri. Home to the famous riverboat casinos, there is a romantic air to gaming tables here. The casinos are based on riverboats but remain dockside and do not cruise. They are open 24 hours a day and offer blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, slot machines, video poker, and video keno. These casinos brought in $1.03 billion in revenue and offered a truly memorable experience to gamblers in the USA.
As the reader can see, there are many ways to rank casino hotspots in the USA. However, only judging them by the size of the take would exclude some of the more exciting or quirky places where it is possible to have a flutter.