US Online Casinos Win $3.1B in H1, May Approach $6.5B Full-Year Forecast for 2023

The six states with legal online casinos produced a total of $3.14 billion in gross gaming revenue from iGaming in the first half of 2023, putting them roughly on track for the $6.5 billion annual total forecasted by Bonus coming into the year. The industry got off to a slow start to the year in January, but recent months have been closer to the projection. State regulators recently reported the revenue figures for June, the first month this year that actual revenue exceeded the forecast.

In June 2023, the six states reported combined iGaming gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $151 million, roughly half a million more than in May. That’s unusual because revenue typically slumps mid-summer before recovering in the fall. June is also a shorter month than May by one day. National daily average revenue rose 3.6% month-over-month, whereas it dropped 1.4% over the same period in 2022 and 2.8% in 2021.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were all within 3% of their projections for H1, while the smaller markets have proven less predictable. Connecticut remains the biggest success story of the year in the US, with an annual growth rate above 50%. Conversely, West Virginia and Delaware have been disappointing.

US Markets Making Up for a Slow Start

June was the first month in which US online casinos outperformed 2023 revenue projections.US online casinos finished 2022 on a strong note. The Bonus projection for the national market assumed that growth would continue through the first quarter of 2023 but that a slowdown would come later in the year. Instead, the slowdown seems to have come earlier than expected, but a recovery period has followed.

The total for H1 was 1.6% below the forecast. If H2 underperforms by a similar margin, the full-year total will be $6.35 billion. On the other hand, in 2022, H1 accounted for only 48.1% of full-year revenue. If H2 2023 were to beat H1 by a similar margin, the annual total would be $6.54 billion. So, 2023 could still reach or exceed the projection and should be close either way.

Almost all the shortfall for H1 can be attributed to weaker-than-expected performance in January. Month-over-month growth from December 2021 to January 2022 was 2.1%, and the Bonus forecast called for an even larger gain coming into 2023. Instead, revenue over that period was nearly flat.

Since then, market performance has been very much in line with expectations. The summer slump began more abruptly than usual and has been gentler since. However, the total for February to June was within 1% of the forecast.

Online Gambling Revenue Highlights – June 2023

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania online gambling sites won $164.3 million in June 2023, up 32.8% year-over-year. That’s an improvement over 27.9% in May.
  • The daily average revenue was $5.5 million, roughly unchanged from May.
  • Pennsylvania’s June performance beat the Bonus projection by 2.4%, the widest margin among the “Big Three” states.
  • Pennsylvania’s year-to-date iGaming GGR is now just over $1 billion, but still 2.2% lower than the Bonus forecast.
  • PokerStars took a big hit in May, with daily average revenue plummeting 23.3%. At the other extreme, Caesars saw an increase of 13.5%. Some part of this may have been poker players moving from PokerStars to the Caesars-operated WSOP.com to play online bracelet events during the summer series, though PokerStars’ largest drop came in the slots vertical.

Michigan

  • Michigan online gambling sites won $151.0 million in June 2023, up 24.3% year-over-year, the fastest growth rate since March. It’s a significant improvement over 18.2% in May, which was an unusually slow month for the Wolverine State.
  • The daily average revenue was $5.0 million, up 3.6% month-over-month and very close to the forecast. That works out to about 50 cents per capita per day, still a little lower than New Jersey.
  • Michigan’s year-to-date total iGaming GGR is now $934.6 million, 2.9% lower than the Bonus forecast.
  • Market leader BetMGM had a strong month, increasing daily average revenue by 7.3% and adding a full percentage point to its market share, now 32.6%.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey online gambling sites won $149.3 million in June 2023, up 12.1% year-over-year. That’s the slowest annual growth rate since February, when it briefly dipped to a single-digit percentage.
  • The daily average revenue was just under $5.0 million, slightly lower than Michigan’s, yet still better in per capita terms. That’s a month-over-month drop of 4.4% and 1.4% below the forecast, making New Jersey the only state to underperform relative to expectations.
  • New Jersey’s year-to-date total iGaming GGR is now $942.1 million, only 1.2% lower than the Bonus forecast.
  • Here, too, Caesars had a phenomenal month, up 12.3% in daily average revenue. In the case of New Jersey, the gains are more clearly attributable to the World Series of Poker, as poker revenue was up 45.9%.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut online casinos won $31.6 million in June 2023, up 50.5% year-over-year. That’s down somewhat from 56.8% in May.
  • The daily average revenue was $1.05 million, unchanged from May.
  • Connecticut’s monthly revenue keeps beating the projection by an increasing margin. In June, it was 16.3% higher than the forecast.
  • Connecticut’s year-to-date total iGaming GGR is now $176.3 million, 7.8% higher than the forecast and growing.
  • For the first time since the market’s launch in October 2021, Mohegan Casino’s promotional spending exceeded that of DraftKings: $4.0 million to $3.2 million. Perhaps not coincidentally, its market share grew to 46.8%, the closest it has yet come to an even split. At its peak in February 2022, DraftKings held nearly two-thirds of the market.

West Virginia

  • West Virginia online casinos won $12.0 million in June 2023, up 61.4% year-over-year. Although that’s the best annual growth rate of 2023 and higher than Connecticut’s, it’s still below expectation because of how explosively the Mountain State was growing in 2022.
  • The daily average revenue was just over $400,000, up 6.8% from May. Although still 4.0% below the Bonus forecast for the month, it’s much closer than in May when the shortfall was 15.9%.
  • West Virginia’s year-to-date total iGaming GGR is now $75.8 million, 4.9% below the forecast.
  • Adding new operators to the market may help West Virginia catch up. Towards the end of the month, WynnBet became the first online casino operator to use Mardi Gras as its land-based partner, while the latter’s owner, Delaware North’s in-house app Betly will add casino games shortly. WynnBet contributed a mere $76,000 to the monthly total for June, but that represents only its first nine days of operation.

Delaware

  • Delaware’s lottery monopoly generated $1.1 million in revenue from its three online casino brands in June 2023. That’s an annual increase of just 2.4%, the lowest we’ve seen from any state this year.
  • The daily average revenue was $38,000, down 3.9% month-over-month and equating to less than 4 cents per capita per day.
  • Delaware continues to fall further and further behind the forecast, coming up 17.1% short in June and 11.4% for H1.

US Online Gambling Revenue Summary Table

StateGGR - June 2023Monthly ChangeAnnual Change
Pennsylvania$164,312,287-0.4%+30.0%
Michigan$151,006,936+3.6%+24.3%
New Jersey$149,292,604-4.4%+12.1%
Connecticut$31,570,565-0.5%+50.5%
West Virginia$12,029,095+6.8%+61.4%
Delaware$1,145,653-3.9%+2.4%
US Total$509,357,140-0.3%+24.1%

Notes on the Data

  • Raw data for this article comes from reports issued by the state regulators: the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Michigan Gaming Control Board, West Virginia Lottery, Delaware Lottery, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
  • 2023 online gambling revenue projections are original calculations performed by News Managing Editor Alex Weldon on behalf of Bonus. Please cite Bonus and Alex Weldon if reporting projected numbers or market performance compared to the projections.
  • Monthly growth figures are adjusted for the number of days in the month. That is, they represent the change in daily average revenue, not full-month gross revenue.
  • West Virginia reports revenue weekly, not monthly. Its monthly totals are an estimate, assuming that revenue for partial weeks is distributed evenly between the seven days.
  • Pennsylvania only reports adjusted revenue (gross revenue, less promotional spending). Bonus calculates gross slots revenue by subtracting payouts from coin in, but no such data is available for table games and poker. Therefore, actual gross revenue is probably somewhat higher than what we report.

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About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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