Gambling in USA
17 September 2021

In the United States gambling is restricted but not totally banned. Each state decides on local prohibitions, and currently there are 25 states with physical commercial casinos, 48 states if we include state-run lotteries, wagering on horse races takes place in 30 states, and many states allow various forms of gambling to benefit charities.

As of 2020, Nevada and Louisiana are the only states with statewide legal casinos (read more upon the restrictions in the American Gaming Association report). Both state and local governments impose licensing and zoning restrictions there. The rest of the “gambling states” restrict this activity to small geographic areas (e.g. Atlantic City, New Jersey). Here are the top 20 gaming markets within the US:

The COVID pandemic and nationwide shutdowns have hit the physical casinos and boosted sports betting (nearly $1.6 billion revenue in 2020) and iGaming (also $1.6 billion, three times more than in 2019). According to the research published by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the gambling sector in the US was hit hard by the pandemic, generating $30.0 billion revenue in 2020, this was the lowest point since 2003.

Gambling sector revenue

People’s attitude

Americans generally love gambling and even voice support for its legal expansion and rush to support the sector after it being devastated during the 2019–2020 lockdowns.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), most Americans enjoy gambling and usually bet on three different activities.

  • Despite being strictly legal in only two states, 1 in 5 Americans visited a casino to place a bet.
  • The most popular form of gambling is lottery, the second-best is casino.
  • The most receptive part of the population are the young people between 18 and 30 years. They are more prone to gambling.
  • Sports betting and fantasy games attract most people prone to risky behavior.
  • Most US gamblers believe that it is a fair way of making money and that their chances of winning increase after a loss. This attitude is strongest in card games and sports betting.

What are they looking for

Here are some findings as per Google Trends data on search requests.

We can see here that the East Coast leans heavily on lottery queries, while West Coast dwellers are more interested in casinos.

The interest in lotteries and sweepstakes is the strongest closer to the end of the year, but otherwise is stable and growing over the years.

The top searches are a combination of “lottery + state”.

Happy winners and various lottery tickets will be a good choice for creatives here.

Gambling searches don’t show a pronounced seasonality per se, but over the past 3 years, we can spot visible surges in interest from February through May.

The most trending searches for casinos in the US include:

  • Indaxis
  • Sunmaker
  • Cool Cat Casino
  • Raging bull casino
  • Live Dealer Casinos
  • Four Winds Casinos
  • El Royale Casino

We also see bonus codes and casino bonuses in search queries, which is a great idea for creatives.

And here are the biggest iGaming providers in the USA that surface once you start searching for the best way to spend your coin.

Payment methods

Physical casinos have more payment restrictions than iGaming or betting. These vary from state to state, for instance: in Florida, casinos are prohibited from having an ATM in the vicinity of slot machines and cannot accept cash and checks as payment for these games. Credit cards are forbidden in Iowa and Maine as payment for gaming tokens or coins.

When it comes to online payments for gambling activities, US gamers have a wide selection of methods for the regulated online casinos:


The United States hold 25% of the global casino market and leverage about $30 bn gross revenue annually. This is a lucrative market where people believe that buying a lottery ticket is as normal as reading a daily newspaper and think that if you lose at some point you will inevitably win soon after it.

To drive the US traffic to gambling offers, you have to study the state by state regulations and preferences. Also bear in mind that iGaming, fantasy games, and sports betting are flourishing more than ever thanks to a year of idleness and restrictions. Choose an offer, fit your creatives to the most popular game in the region, bet on your audience’s zeal — and you’ll hit the highest gambling ROI you’ve ever had. May the green be with you!

Have a story to tell about traffic arbitrage?
Become a ZorbasMedia contributor!
Become an author
Do you want to stay on top of your game and know what is going on in the affiliate marketing industry? Subscribe to ZorbasMedia newsletter and never miss a thing!