After a challenging year for the gaming industry in 2020, the first quarter of 2021 has come to an end and the Q1 results presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA) are extremely positive. Which marks a full recovery for the industry and record-high revenue as well. The AGA’s commercial gaming report states that the gross gaming revenue for the industry for the first three months of 2021 came in at more than 11 billion USD. Sports betting and iGaming helped bring up the figures where its land-based counterparts were lacking.
As industries around the world begin to recover, the US gaming industry has finally shown results that match the all-time high it experienced in Q1 2019. The latest figures show that the total represents an almost 18% increase when compared to Q1 2020. During the end of Q1 2020, most land-based casinos in the US were shut down due to health and safety regulations set out by the government. However, when compared to 2019, a year with no restrictions, the AGA reported that more than half of the US states experienced increases in gross gaming revenue in 2021, a comparison made with the figures from 2019. The full scope of the figures is naturally unattainable given that revenue figures from tribal casinos are not included in the AGA’s report.
Many industry analysts and casino executives have long hoped and predicted that the first quarter of 2021 would be exactly what we are seeing now. Many players are demanding entertainment given the conditions in the previous year, including gambling at a casino, and that need along with the casinos’ ability to meet that demand would essentially make for a quick rejuvenation of the US gaming industry. Some of the biggest casino executives have also predicted that 2021 and beyond will be like what the gaming industry experienced in the Roaring 20s. The AGA’s CEO and President, Bill Miller said that the comeback of the US gaming industry is ahead of schedule and that the industry is accomplishing astonishing figures with one hand tied behind its back as some health and safety regulations remain.
Furthermore, the numbers were further broken down to see how each sector of the industry contributed to the total gross gaming revenue. The contribution of gross gaming revenue from iGaming came in at 784.5 million USD and sports betting generated nearly a billion dollars at 961.1 million USD. Gross gaming revenue directly from land-based casinos brought in 1.62 billion USD from table games with the big winner being slot machines which totalled 6.7 billion USD. The combined total of about 1.7 billion USD generated by iGaming and sports betting pushed the overall figures closer to the Q1 2019 results. The two sectors of the industry have grown exponentially, and the Q1 2021 total is way up from the 250 million USD it generated in Q1 2019.
According to the report, the state by state comparison is also pretty impressive. Even though the overall numbers do come with a bit of a dark cloud over some parts of the gaming industry. The world-famous home of gambling, Nevada, took the lead reporting gross gaming revenue to the tune of 2.6 billion USD. Nevada is one state that depends heavily on the performance of the gaming industry, to sustain its businesses as well as the state. The figure out of Nevada shows that the state also earned 23% of the total gaming market share in the US. Furthermore, second-place was grabbed by Pennsylvania, which generated gross gaming revenue of 1.04 billion USD and was also the only other state to pass the billion-dollar mark. New Jersey got close to second place reporting gross gaming revenue of 994 million USD. Next up was Mississippi that generated 615.6 million USD and rounding off the top five in the country was Indiana reporting a total of 587.1 million USD in revenue for Q1 2021.
The AGA also stated that while the results were positive, when it comes to commercial casinos, the revenue made needs to be put back into the business as these properties around the country are struggling with the upkeep of their other business sectors. The complete gaming package also includes the entertainment and other amenities provided by the casino or resort. The AGA explained that gaming generated revenue of 11.13 billion USD but casinos are still being crippled by the limitations placed on restaurants, hotel bookings, meetings, conventions and live entertainment. All of these separate business segments make up the full picture of what commercial casinos need to stay afloat.