America Gaming Up, Up, Up

17 August 2000
Consumer spending on legal gambling rose 6 percent in 1999, evidence that the nation's appetite for games of skill and chance may be nearing the saturation point, according to Eugene Christiansen's annual survey for International Gaming & Wagering Business magazine.

In 1999, Americans lost $58.4 billion wagering at casinos, race tracks, race and sports books and on state lotteries, according to the magazine's Gross Annual Wager report, the widely recognized barometer of gambling in the United States. The figure represents an increase from the $55.1 billion consumers spent on legal gaming in 1998.

"The numbers say Americans have all the gambling they want," says Christiansen, whose Christiansen Capital Advisors LLC of New York compiles the figures. "By and large, latent demand for commercial games has been satisfied."

Overall, Americans lost more money gambling than they spent on movie tickets, recorded music, theme parks, spectator sports and video games combined, according to the survey.