It’s pretty much understood that casino gross gaming revenue in the US is being pulled by what Las Vegas makes. It’s been the case for years and it was the case in 2012 when Vegas earned $10.86 billion in gross gaming revenue, 1.5 percent better than last year and 29.1 percent of the $37.3 billion US casinos earned for the entire year. That’s wonderful and, quite frankly, to be expected.
What wasn’t expected, though, was that a particular and pretty unlikely state accounted for the biggest growth in casino gross gaming revenue in 2012. If you raised your hand and said it was New Jersey, you’d be wrong, because Atlantic City has been in a downward spiral. It’s not even Pennsylvania, New York, or even California. It’s – wait for it – Kansas.
Yep. The Sunflower State. It’s not the Kansas you remember, Dorothy.
According to the American gaming Association’s annual gaming report (read here), the state saw its gross gaming revenue grow by a staggering 603.7 percent in 2012, going from $48 million in revenue back in 2011 to $341 million in 2012. The state’s significant revenue growth was largely attributed to the increasing number of casinos that are now open in Kansas. Back in 2009, two years after the state legalized casinos, Kansas only had the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City. Since then, the number of casinos have tripled with the opening of the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The combination of these new casinos opening and operating for an entire calendar year, Kansas’ impressive growth in casino gaming revenue has provided a significant economic boost for the state.
All in all, 15 of the 22 states with commercial casinos saw their revenues increase in 2012 compared to their 2011 figures. Other states may not have grown as much as Kansas, but they still posted significant growth in 2012. Maryland, for one, saw a 143 percent improvement, going from $155.7 million to $377.81 million. Maine also saw some growth in casino gross gaming revenue, improving by 66.9 percent from $59.45 million in 2011 to $99.2 million in 2012.
In related news from the AGA’s annual report, it was also discovered that acceptability of casino gaming is at an all time high with 85 percent of Americans viewing casino gaming as acceptable for themselves or others.