How High Does Michigan Rank Among Most Casino-Loving States?

How High Does Michigan Rank Among Most Casino-Loving States?
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Michigan ranks seventh among U.S. states that love casinos and gambling the most, according to research. The sports betting and online casino Michigan market backs up that ranking.

With so many states legalizing online casinos and building new land-based casinos across the country, conducted a study that went a little deeper.

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Gaming Industry Growing Nationally

There’s plenty of competition within the industry. According to the American Gaming Association, in 2021, commercial gaming in the United States generated around $52.99 billion in revenue, a nearly 77% increase over 2020 (when COVID-19 caused widespread industry shutdowns). In 2022 that number exceeded $60 billion nationwide.

And it seems technological advancements, such as those on Michigan casino apps, are announced weekly. So that deep-rooted passion for gambling will continue to grow.

By segment, casino slots and table games bring in the highest portion of revenue, followed by sports betting and iGaming. Of course, slot machines are found in bricks-and-mortar establishments such as casinos, and they’re not legal in every state.

In fact iGaming, such as Michigan online slots, roulette, card games and more, is only legal in six states.

According to Statista there were 466 physical commercial casinos in the U.S. in 2021, and 515 tribal casinos.

And that does not even account for the fact that more than 30 states now have some form of legal, regulated wagering on sports, including the action online at MI sportsbook apps.

So how do you break down that big of a pie over individual U.S. states that have legalized it? If state-run lotteries are included, 48 states allow some form of gambling now.

How We Developed These Rankings used four combined data points to develop the ranking of the 50 U.S. states from most to least casino-loving states.

We compiled a points system for the purposes of these rankings. We compared states based on how they ranked in 2022 casino revenue, according to UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, and consulted Wikipedia to ascertain casinos per capita. Those categories are worth 50 points each, with the highest-ranking stat earning 50 points, the second-highest garnering 49 points and so on.

We considered two other categories based on Google Trends, counting the most searches for the terms “online casino” and “casinos near me.” Those two each ranked on the same 1-50 scale but were combined into the “most searches” column in the chart below, so the maximum points in that category is 100.

Ranking of Casino-Loving States

Rank, StateCasinos Per Capita ‘22 Casino Revenue Most SearchesTotal Points
1. Nevada5050 78178
2. Mississippi454388176
3. Louisiana474581173
4. Oklahoma492893170
5. New Jersey314985165
6. New Mexico473079156
7. Michigan294185155
8. Kansas333190154
T-9. Iowa423971152
T-9. Pennsylvania214883152
11. Missouri263874138
T-12. South Dakota482753128
T-12. New York 224660128
14. Indiana254458127
15. West Virginia193569123

Michigan Listed at No. 7 in Casino Interest

The No. 1 state was Nevada. No surprise there. Under the three sub-categories – casinos per capita, 2022 casino revenue and most searches for casinos – Nevada racked up 178 points in our methodology. The state most famous for its casinos topped the list in the per capita and revenue categories.

Mississippi was No. 2 (45 points, then 43, then 88 for a total of 176). Louisiana (173 points) was thid, followed by Oklahoma (170), New Jersey (165) and New Mexico (156).

Michigan comes in seventh. The best category for the Great Lakes State was in casino searches; of the top 15 states on our list, only three beat Michigan’s total of 85 points. And you can search our site for the best Michigan casino bonuses before you take a spin on a real money slot.

Rounding out the top 15: Kansas (154), Iowa (152), Pennsylvania (152), Missouri (138), South Dakota (128), New York (128), Indiana (127) and West Virginia (123).

Legal betting in the U.S. started expanding after the 2018 Supreme Court decision struck down the federal ban outside Nevada. When you look at total handle since then, Michigan, which legalized sports betting and online gambling in 2019, is right there. So these results are not a surprise.

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Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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