Top 10 Casino States in the USA – List of the Best Casino States To Visit

Kevin Parker
  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 9 minutes

Finding a gambling venue in the United States of America is quite easy. The country boasts of more than a thousand casinos. Combined, these bring in tens of billions of dollars in revenue every year.

Despite all that, everything is not exactly streamlined when it comes to the United States’ gambling sector. Gambling laws and regulations vary from one state to the next.

A solid number of states have already legalized either online or land-based casinos. Some even allow for both. A few have held out altogether. That said, to make the most out of the gambling experience some states will be better destinations than others.

On that note, below we count down the top 10 states for gambling enthusiasts:

10. Iowa

Top Casino State Iowa

You may already know Iowa for its exciting college football performance but there is so much more to the state. It is also a very lucrative gambling destination for both its residents and visitors.

To put the value of the industry into context, the state made a whopping $1.167 billion in gross gaming revenue last year.

All that came from the state’s legal and regulated:

There are about 20 of these and they are mostly scattered around the state.  As such, it is easy to access a gambling facility regardless of where you may be in Iowa.

The venues offer an exciting range of gambling options including top table games and slots.

As if that is not enough, they have an impressive range of entertainment and hospitality options for anyone visiting them.

9. Illinois

Top Casino State Illinois

In recent years, Illinois has proven that it has what it takes to be a top gambling destination. All this is thanks in part to its forward-thinking approach whose merits are already beginning to bear some fruit.

In 2020, the state brought in $743.41 million in gross gaming revenue. Things are going very well for the gambling market.

Perhaps the best thing about the Illinois gambling sector is how rapidly it is starting to grow. Already, there are several outstanding gambling destinations available across the state.

Still, things are about to get better thanks to a recent Legislation that authorized the establishment of six more casino facilities. Two of these will be based in Chicago.

The legislation also gave the green light for gambling at the state’s racetracks. If previous revenue stats are anything to go by, it’s about to get even better for Illinois.

8. Missouri

Top Casino State in the USA Missouri

This state is quite special in terms of how its lucrative gambling sector operates.

Last year, the state brought in a whopping $1.26 billion in gross gaming revenue.

While most forms of gambling including online casinos and in-land brick-and-mortar casinos are still illegal here, Missouri still has plenty of gambling options for its residents and visitors.

Only riverboat casinos are legally available to gamblers for now.

In total there are about 13 riverboat casinos that you can visit while in Missouri. Most of these are located along the eastern half of the state.

The gambling destinations also double up as vacation resorts. Therefore, they can rake in so much money as they serve as well-rounded attractions.

Things could get even much better for the state if they consider expanding their gambling sector. Hopefully, this is something that the lawmakers and the stakeholders of the Missouri gambling industry are pondering over.

7. New York

Top Gambling State in the US New York

The Empire State is known for a lot of things and even though gambling is not among the top ones, the sector is a key part of the state’s thriving economy. For years, it has always been among the leading in terms of gross gaming revenue.

In 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, gross gaming revenue in New York was $1.185 billion. That is very impressive.

When it comes to actual gambling activities, the state has legalized both sports betting and brick-and-mortar casinos.

There are over 30 amazing land-based casino destinations available across the state and each of them offers outstanding gaming options.

Whether you prefer table games (such as blackjack) or slots you will find something that tickles your fancy at one or more of these facilities.

Despite several efforts to make legal state-regulated online gambling a reality in New York, there has been very little progress.

For people who must gamble online, offshore betting sites are the only option available for now.

6. Louisiana

Best Casino State in the US Louisiana

This state also leverages its beautiful geography to make the most out of its gambling sector’s potential.

The model of operation has seen the state rake in billions of dollars in gross gaming revenue every year. In 2020, that number was $1.659 billion.

It is a great destination for anyone that is looking for some slot or table game action in addition to other entertainment offerings.

Most of the gambling action in Louisiana takes place at the:

  • Racetrack casinos
  • Riverboat casinos
  • Land-based facilities

In total, the state has over 50 retail casinos. These are spread out across different parts with 5 of the top ones being in New Orleans.

Unfortunately, only retail gambling is currently legal in New Orleans.

With no state-sanctioned online gambling options, residents are left with offshore online gambling sites. This is likely to change soon though as the state is slowly starting to warm up to the idea of a legal online gambling sector.

5. Indiana

Casinos in Indiana badge

In 2020, Indiana came in fifth in terms of gross gambling revenue. The $1.71 billion that the state posted during that period was very impressive especially considering the size of its gambling sector.

As it stands, Indiana has just a seemingly meager 16 brick-and-mortar casino venues. These are, however, almost evenly spread out across the 14 different cities in the city. As such, they can cater to the massive gambling market and rake in very impressive revenues.

One of the things that are lovable about the Indiana gaming scene is its diversity. Gamers can catch some action at any of the state’s legalized casinos, riverboats, and racetrack betting facilities.

Unfortunately, the state happens to be one of the holdouts when it comes to legalizing online gambling. Residents who want to gamble online are thus out of luck and often must rely on offshore online gambling sites if they do not want to visit brick-and-mortar gambling facilities.

4. Mississippi

Casinos in Mississippi Badge

While it is not often the first state that comes to mind when gambling is mentioned, Mississippi is a solid gaming and entertainment destination.

In 2020, the state made about $1.795 billion in gross gaming revenue which is more than enough proof of its potential.

It has made much more post-pandemic and should be able to get back to its full capacity as the country recovers from the pandemic.

What makes Mississippi stand out is its dockside casinos as well as its other array of gambling venues.

In total, the state boasts of a total of 36 gambling venues. While this number may seem rather small, they are responsible for the massive gaming revenue highlighted earlier.

Unfortunately, the state is yet to legalize online gambling and thus its citizens have had to turn to offshore gambling sites.

Hopefully, that is something that the state is working on changing soon since online gambling is more lucrative than ever before.

3. Pennsylvania

Best Casino State USA Pennsylvania

The Keystone State is one of the largest states by population which is why it is unsurprisingly a very lucrative gambling market.

In 2021, it is one of the fastest-growing gambling markets in the United States thanks to all the gambling-friendly laws and regulations it has implemented over the years.

The success of its model can easily be proven by the $2.70 billion gross gaming revenue that the state’s gambling businesses brought last year (2020).

The first legal gambling facilities opened their doors to customers back in 2004.

Over the years, more casinos operations came to the state and there are now 13 land-based casinos.

Aside from that, Pennsylvania recently began pursuing some gambling expansion plans. This was all about extending the reach of gambling businesses through Category 4 Satellite casinos or mini-casinos some of which have already gone live.

Moreover, online gambling and sports betting are also now a staple offering in the Keystone State. The sector has grown rapidly despite launching just a little over two years ago.

2. New Jersey

Top Casino State New Jersey

New Jersey also stands out as a leading gambling destination. Many gambling and casino enthusiasts will be familiar with Atlantic City which, like Las Vegas, has been one of the top gambling destinations for decades. The state has done a great job when it comes to creating a well-rounded entertainment scene.

In 2020, its gross gambling revenue clocked in at a whopping $2.88 billion.

One of the factors that make New Jersey such a lucrative gambling market is the fact that it has both retail and online gambling offerings.

There are about a dozen land-based casinos in Atlantic City. That is just enough to keep most of the gamblers happy.

However, since the legalization of online gambling back in 2013, many of the state’s gamers have not had to worry about the rather small number of retail gambling facilities.

As of the time of this writing, there are over 20 iGaming websites that are licensed to operate in New Jersey.

1. Nevada

Top Casino States Nevada

It comes as no surprise that Nevada would top the list of states when it comes to gambling in the United States. After all, it is the home of Las Vegas which is one of the leading gambling destinations on the planet.

This city alone generates so much gambling revenue that it would be very hard for other states to beat Nevada as a gambling and entertainment mecca.

In 2020, gross gaming revenue in the state was a whopping $7.87 billion. That is impressive especially considering the ravaging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic during that period.

All its success can be attributed to its casino-friendly gambling laws as well as the investment that the state has put into the sector.

Today, Nevada boasts of nearly 450 casino destinations with more coming up regularly.

The only thing that seems to be holding the state back is the lack of state-regulated online gambling. Nevada is missing out since the state’s residents still gamble online at offshore online betting sites.

Summary

Now, you may not be able to visit all these destinations, at least not in the short term. Still, it is very comforting to know that regardless of where you are in the United States, you are likely to find great gambling and entertainment options nearby.

More states are also now warming up to gambling expansion. That is a great move forward as it not only means that they can tap into a new revenue stream but they can also allow customers to access safe and reliable gambling options.

You will not have to look too hard to enjoy an amazing gambling experiences, whether that be at an online casino or land-based.

Author: Marion Duncan