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November 30, 2022


Contact: Keli Elkins

(703) 587-1648

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Americans gamble an estimated $511 billion each year with illegal and unregulated sportsbooks, iCasino websites and so-called “skill games,” according to a new report released today from the American Gaming Association, conducted on their behalf by The Innovation Group.


This illegal wagering robs state governments of $13.3 billion in tax revenue annually, nearly $2.5 billion more than legal operators generated in 2021 ($11.7 billion). It also costs the legal gaming industry $44.2 billion in annual revenue, or nearly half of the $92 billion in combined commercial and tribal revenue in 2021.

“Illegal and unregulated gambling is a scourge on our society, taking advantage of vulnerable consumers, skirting regulatory obligations and robbing communities of critical tax revenue for infrastructure, education and more,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “We have always known that the illegal and unregulated market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is.”


Sports Betting Findings

AGA’s report estimates that Americans wager $63.8 billion with illegal bookies and offshore sites at a cost of $3.8 billion in gaming revenue and $700 million in state taxes. With Americans projected to place $100 billion in legal sports bets this year, these findings imply that illegal sportsbook operators are capturing nearly 40 percent of the U.S. sports betting market.


While the numbers are significant, they also demonstrate Americans’ movement to the regulated market with legal sports betting’s expansion to 36 states and the District of Columbia. 


The report also found that 49 percent of past-year sports bettors have placed a bet with an illegal operator. Previous AGA research shows that more than half of Americans that bet on sports with illegal operators believe they are wagering legally.


iCasino Findings

Americans wager an estimated $337.9 billion with illegal iCasino websites, with a loss of $3.9 billion in state tax revenue. With $13.5 billion in estimated revenue, the illegal iCasino market in the U.S. is nearly three times the size of the legal U.S. iCasino market, estimated to be $5 billion in 2022. 


With iCasino only legal in six states, nearly half of Americans (48%) that have played online slots or table games in the past year have played with illegal online casinos.


Unregulated “Skill Machine” Findings

Unregulated gaming machines also continue to proliferate, with an estimated 580,651 unregulated machines in the U.S. With 870,000 regulated machines in casinos and slot routes, that means 40% of all gaming machines in the U.S. are unlicensed.


Based on state regulatory data for similar machines, the operator win percentage on unregulated gambling machines is significantly higher than legal casino slot machines. During the past 12 months, slot machines in Nevada have a 7.16 percent win rate, compared to a nearly 25 percent estimated win rate for unregulated machines—demonstrating how unregulated machines take advantage of customers. 


“All stakeholders—policymakers, law enforcement, regulators, legal businesses—must work together to root out the illegal and unregulated gambling market. This is a fight we’re in for the long haul to protect consumers, support communities and defend the law-abiding members of our industry.”



The study was conducted by The Innovation Group on behalf of the American Gaming Association and is based largely on a survey of 5,284 U.S adults examining their past-year gambling behaviors, with both legal and illegal operators, as well as their observations of unregulated gaming machines. It also incorporates publicly available data on the size of legal U.S. gaming market and certain state gaming machine markets. 



  • Commercial or tribal casino gaming is legal in 36 states, iCasino is legal in six states, and sports betting is legal is 36 states and Washington, D.C.
  • AGA’s State of Play Map provides a state-by-state look at legal, regulated gaming in the U.S.
  • provides additional resources for consumers, industry stakeholders and media to raise awareness on the importance of eliminating illegal gambling and bolster efforts to combat illegal operators. 



About the AGA: As the national trade group representing the U.S. casino industry, the American Gaming Association (AGA) fosters a policy and business environment where legal, regulated gaming thrives. The AGA’s diverse membership of commercial and tribal casino operators, sports betting and iGaming companies, gaming suppliers, and more lead the $261 billion industry and support 1.8 million jobs across the country.

About TIG: The Innovation Group has long been recognized as the world's most respected and sought-after research and advisory firm, specializing in the gaming, entertainment, hospitality, and leisure industries. To date, our research and analyses have driven over $100 billion in investment decisions across more than 80 countries and six continents. The Innovation Group's accuracy and reliability is unparalleled, with our forecasts historically tracking within 5% of actual revenues across the most complex of gaming jurisdictions throughout the globe.  

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