Connecticut is now the fastest-growing online casino market in the US, reaching a 57% annual growth rate in May. Until now, West Virginia has been the state known for its small population but explosive iGaming growth rate, but it is finally showing signs of slowing down. It and Michigan both experienced the worst monthly drop in daily average revenue in their respective histories.
The breakout performance for the Nutmeg State comes as the US market as a whole enters its traditional summer slump. Online casinos don’t exhibit quite as much seasonality as sportsbooks. However, they get less crossover traffic from sports bettors while leagues like the NFL, NBA and NHL are in their offseason. At the same time, gamblers are spending more time out of the house in the warm weather and have less time for mobile casino games.
The six states with legal online casinos produced a total of $528 million in gross iGaming revenue in May 2023. That includes online poker as well as online casino gaming, but not sports betting or other verticals. That’s down from $532 million in April, despite May being one day longer.
Calculated as a daily average, national iGaming GGR fell 3.9% month over month. That’s somewhat less of a drop than 5.3% over the same period in 2022 and in line with our projections (see notes).
Connecticut’s Annual Online Casino Growth Tops US Charts
Connecticut’s success hasn’t come out of nowhere. Although May’s 57% annual growth figure is a state record, it has averaged around 43% and never lower than 34%.
Even so, the acceleration of its growth is surprising. The 2023 Bonus iGaming revenue forecast called for $149.2 million in GGR from Connecticut over the first five months of the year. Instead, it has brought in $158.5 million, or 6.3% above the projection, whereas many other states have fallen short.
The margin by which it is exceeding expectations is growing. We projected only $29.5 million in combined online revenue for the two operators – DraftKings and Mohegan Sun. Instead, they produced $32.8 million.
Like most other states, Connecticut began the year slightly slower than expected, at 1.1% below the projection. It beat the forecast by 2.6% in February, 9.2% in March and April, and 11.3% in May.
Smaller, younger markets like Connecticut and West Virginia have been growing faster than others. Both states have likely benefitted from the launch of live dealer games in the past year: West Virginia in June 2022 and Connecticut the following month. However, since then, West Virginia’s annual growth has gradually dropped from over 100% to just 37% in May.
Most impressive is that Connecticut’s acceleration comes despite a massive reduction in promotional spending. For most of 2022, DraftKings Casino returned virtually all its gross revenue to players through bonuses. Starting in January 2023, it suddenly dropped spending to around 20% of GGR, the maximum allowable as a tax deduction. Mohegan has gradually ramped up its spending to approximately 24% of its GGR in May.
Online Gambling Revenue Highlights – May 2023
- Pennsylvania online gambling sites won $170.4 million in May 2023, up 24.6% year-over-year. That’s an improvement over 21.2% in April.
- The daily average revenue was $5.5 million, a monthly drop of 1.4%.
- Pennsylvania’s year-to-date total is now $867.9 million, 3.0% lower than the Bonus forecast.
- Unibet’s decision to focus on the online casino vertical in 2023 may be paying off, as its daily average GGR shot up 44% month-over-month.
- Michigan online gambling sites won $150.6 million in May 2023, up 18.2% year-over-year. That’s the lowest annual growth rate in state history.
- The daily average revenue was $4.9 million, a monthly drop of 8.6%, the worst in state history.
- Michigan’s year-to-date total is $783.6 million, 3.5% lower than the Bonus forecast.
- Caesars Casino has begun to backslide following a couple of very strong months, with its daily average revenue down 23% in May and its market share falling by nearly a full percentage point to 4.6%.
- New Jersey online gambling sites produced $161.4 million in May 2023, up 18.7% year-over-year. That’s an improvement on 16.3% in April.
- The daily average revenue was $5.2 million, a monthly drop of just 1.7%, a good result for this time of year.
- New Jersey’s year-to-date total is $620 million. The May total was 3.6% above the Bonus forecast, reducing the state’s year-to-date shortfall to just 1.2%.
- Golden Nugget and Resorts are again deadlocked for second place among the state’s nine license holders, with $41.6 million and $41.7 million in monthly revenue, respectively. Borgata remains the first-place license with $43.2 million.
- West Virginia online casinos produced $11.6 million in May 2023, up 37% year-over-year. That’s a significant drop from a 52% growth rate in April, the slowest pace in state history, and enough to fall behind Connecticut.
- The daily average revenue was $375,463, a drop of 13.6% from April and the worst monthly performance in state history.
- Connecticut’s year-to-date total is $63.8 million, 5.1% lower than the Bonus forecast.
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town (Draftkings and PointsBet) had the worst month of the three license holders. Despite having almost caught up with market leader Greenbrier in April, Charles Town saw its daily average revenue plunge 24% in May while the Greenbrier lost only 4.7%.
- Delaware’s lottery monopoly produced $1.2 million from online casino games in May 2023, up 12.1% year-over-year.
- The daily average was $39,734, a monthly drop of 7.9%.
- Delaware’s year-to-date total is just $6.3 million, 10.3% below the Bonus forecast.
US Online Gambling Revenue Summary Table
|State||GGR - May 2023||Monthly Change||Annual Change|
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.
Previous Monthly Trends
- Dec 2022 – iGaming growth slowed in 2022
- Jan 2023 – US online casinos hit $500 million monthly revenue milestone
- Feb 2023 – Michigan close to becoming top-performing iGaming state
- Mar 2023 – Resorts overtakes Borgata as New Jersey’s top license
- Apr 2023 – Charles Town Online Casinos Overtake Greenbrier in WV Amid Slow April