In Washington, aggregated gross gaming revenues are expected to grow by nearly 37% over the next five years to $3.56 billion due to a significant increase in population and the widespread availability of casinos.

According to a study conducted by the Spectrum Gaming Group and presented to the Washington State Gambling Commission, the western state’s population is expected to swell by 5.3% through 2020 to approximately 7.43 million with 90.9% of these residents living within “a reasonable one-hour drive” of a Class III casino.

“As it relates to locational attributes of Washington’s casinos, adults in the state are well served as illustrated by fact that more than 83.5% of adults reside within a reasonable one-hour drive of a Washington Class III casino [and] this figure will increase to more than 90% in the coming years with two new casinos added to the Washington landscape,” read the study from Spectrum Gaming Group. “To this point, unlike in many other states where casinos may be out of reach or inconvenient, the bulk of the adult population, 99%, reside within a two-hour drive of a Washington Class III casino.”

The study explained that new casinos in Yakima County and Kitsap County will soon see the number of available slot and table games in the state increase by 11.3% to 35,081 while revealing that Washington has a higher participation rate for gaming than many other states, which will lead to higher gross revenues in the future.

“The gambling participation rate for Washington adults is significantly higher than the national average,” read the study. “Nationally, 32.5% of adults spent approximately $950 per year at casinos. If Washington maintained that national average rate, total gross gaming revenues at Indian casinos in Washington would be $1.61 billion. By contrast, we estimate that Washington adults generated gross gaming revenues of $2.11 billion at the state’s Indian casinos, indicating a materially higher participation rate. Spectrum [Gaming Group] attributes that higher rate to the geographic distribution of gaming facilities throughout the state as well as to the overall quality of the facilities.”

Due to have 82 casinos of some type, Washington will trail behind only Nevada, California and Oklahoma in terms of its total number of gambling facilities while the report declared that the state’s 28 Class III venues are expected to see their aggregated gross gaming revenues for 2017 hit $2.75 billion, which would be an 18.4% swell when compared with 2015. The study further explained that the Class III figure is predicted to have topped $3.3 billion by 2020, which would represent a boost of 42.3% when compared with 2015, with an additional $72.2 million coming from the state’s four Class II gambling properties alongside approximately $189.3 million out of the 50 house-banked cardrooms.

“Although it is beyond the scope of this project to assess the needs of each casino, we believe some properties have the opportunity to increase their volumes or at least stem potential declines by making carefully planned capital improvements,” read the report from Spectrum Gaming Group. “Such projects are critical on an industry-wide basis for several reasons including keeping the property fresh, expanding the market, defending market share, upgrading technology [and] upgrading amenities to reach more affluent customers.”

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