PENNSYLVANIA, USA — New figures released by the American Gaming Association show the U.S. commercial casino industry just had its best quarter ever, winning more than $15 billion from gamblers.
That data comes as the industry is on pace to have its best year yet, collecting more than $45 billion in total revenue.
“That’s up double-digit percentages from last year, which was the previous record-setting year," said Dave Forman, vice president of research for the American Gaming Association.
It’s an ironic statistic, as Americans grapple with record-high inflation, rising fuel costs and the threat of a global recession.
“We haven’t had this level of inflation in decades really, since there was widespread gaming and that was certainly a question mark but consumers have a strong balance sheet and they’re coming to casinos," explained Forman.
Experts say slots and table games continue to be the leading source of gaming revenue, but sports betting has also played a big part in the industry’s recent success.
“Five years ago, it was really only legal in one state—Nevada—and now it’s legal in over 30 states including Pennsylvania," said Forman. "So far this year, just through September, Americans have bet about $65 billion on sports.”
Dr. Melissa Brown, a clinical psychologist with UPMC, says it’s not unusual for people to get riskier with their money during tough economic times.
“They’re already feeling like maybe they’ve already lost everything, what else do I have to lose so I’m going to take my last couple dollars and spend it at a casino," she explained.
Dr. Brown says the recent historic Powerball drawing of over two billion dollars is another example of Americans being unafraid to press their luck in 2022.
“Many of us are looking at it, it’s just a $1 or $2 and we can maybe win that big jackpot that will solve all our life problems," she explained.
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