Americans Break Record for Money Won in Single Year—$44 Billion, Gaming Industry Says

American casinos won more money in 2021 than ever before.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) said that casinos in the U.S. generated $44.15 billion in earnings, surpassing the previous record of $43.65 billion from 2019. The findings are based on reports from October and some from last month, as not every state has released its November earnings.

"With brick-and-mortar gaming setting records, the expansion into new verticals, and domestic and international tourism recovering, the industry is in a strong position for a full recovery," said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller in a statement.

The gaming industry took a significant hit in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the crisis has not subsided, more casinos opened up for business after months of inactivity. They often included enhanced safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as more rigorous cleaning and face mask mandates.

The latest figures do not include earnings from tribal casinos. However, the number of total earnings is expected to rise from the already record-breaking number when the rest of November's sums, as well as December's profits, are released.

October was an especially busy month for casinos, with physical casinos generating $3.97 billion in revenue.

Atlantic City 2021
A gambler plays a slot machine in Bally's casino in Atlantic City, N.J. on June 23, 2021. On Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, the American Gaming Association released statistics showing America's casinos have won more this year than ever before at $44.15 billion, and with more than a month still remaining in the year. AP Photo/Wayne Parry

Americans wagered a record $7.05 billion on sports in 25 jurisdictions in October, bringing the year-to-date total amount bet to $42.19 billion. That is nearly double the amount wagered in all of 2020 when just 17 markets were operating.

With some data yet to be reported, commercial sports books kept nearly $408 million after paying out winning bets and other expenses in October, surpassing the previous monthly record of $405 million set in September.

Internet gambling generated $357 million in revenue, up 129 percent from October 2020, which is also a new monthly record.

And Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota surpassed annual state revenue records. Connecticut launched sports betting and internet gambling in October.

Combined October revenue from traditional casino gambling, sports betting and internet betting was $4.75 billion, the second-highest monthly total ever and an increase of 30.7 percent compared to October 2019.

The industry has now surpassed $4 billion in monthly gambling revenue for eight consecutive months. Before this year, monthly revenue had never topped $4 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cromwell Sign
A view of social distancing signage at The Cromwell, the final strip resort to reopen and the first adults-only Hotel and Casino on Las Vegas Blvd. on October 29, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage