JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The American Gaming Associated has released its annual State of the States: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry, a comprehensive review of the casino industry and the economic impact it has in the 24 states that are home to commercial gaming operations.
In 2017, the commercial gaming industry brought in $40.28 billion in gaming revenue, a 3.4 percent increase over 2016, and states received $9.23 billion in revenue from commercial gaming taxes alone.
“Each year, AGA’s State of the States report provides the most detailed snapshot available of our complex industry, and the many benefits AGA members provide for their employees, partners and communities,” said Stacy Papadopoulos, interim CEO of the American Gaming Association. “This year’s report demonstrates the commercial gaming industry’s role as a job creator and revenue generator in states across the country, and we’re proud of the industry’s steady growth over the past few years.”
Here’s how Missouri fared:
With 13 commercial casinos, Missouri saw a total statewide revenue from casino gaming of $1.74 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2016, which is attributed to growth in St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as an increase in table game revenue due to Missouri allowing commercial casinos to offer credit wagering to patrons in 2014.
In 2017, total statewide table game revenue was $248.2 million, up 4.2 percent year over year. Total statewide gaming machine revenue increased by less than 1 percent to $1.49 billion.
The interesting thing, according to the report, is that statewide revenue increases came despite a decline in visitors. the state’s 13 riverboats admitted approximately 40.3 million guests in 2017, 1.3 million fewer than they did in 2016. The increase in revenue is explained by the average casino revenue per admission rising 4.3 percent to $42.96 per patron.
So what does that mean for the state? Since Missouri casino revenue is taxed at 21 percent, and riverboat casinos also charge admission fees for every two hours that a patron is on board, Missouri’s casinos generated a total gaming tax revenue of approximately $445.7 million, up slightly from $443.6 million in 2016.
Of that amount, approximately $328.4 million was distributed to Missouri’s Gaming Proceeds For Education Fund, while approximately $80.7 million in gaming tax and admissions fee revenue were paid to local governments that play host Missouri’s casinos. Further beneficiaries of revenue from casino admissions fees included a Missouri veterans program, the state’s National Guard and a pair of college financial assistance funds for lower-income students.
According to the report, the economic landscape for the gaming industry in Missouri is expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future.
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.