The American Gaming Association has revealed the latest revenue numbers for commercial casinos in the United States over the first three months of the year.
First Quarter Sets Record for US Gambling Industry
Enthusiasm for America’s casino gaming industry is mounting as commercial properties across the country marked their all-time best quarter in Q1 2021, based on information published by the American Gaming Association (AGA) on Tuesday.
The information looks into the first three months of the year and how the ongoing pandemic has impacted results. With an entire year behind the gaming industry in the United States, however, stakeholders’ results improved significantly, boosted by online gaming and sports betting.
The nation’s commercial casinos scooped up $11.1 billion in revenue over the period and marked the industry’s best quarter since tracking began.
In March alone, 12 states posted their highest-ever gambling revenue, most likely occasioned by the gradual lifting of in-person restrictions and not least the sports betting bonanza surrounding March Madness, the NCAA basketball contest.
In 2021, the first-quarter results saw an 18% increase year-over-year, and they were 4% higher than results in 2019. These numbers come at a time when not all restrictions have been dealt with, and strict sanitary and social distancing protocols are still in place, meaning that there is more room for growth insofar as casino results go.
AGA CEO Bill Miller welcomed the news on a positive note, arguing that the gaming industry is rebuilding and generating impressive results even though amenity restrictions are very much still in place. Some states were early to move forward and restart their industry, as was the case with Pennsylvania and Illinois, which opened early in January.
However, New Mexico took until March to resume operations, with casinos and gaming properties there remaining shuttered for close to a year. In gauging the numbers, AGA noted that 14 out of 25 casino states had occupancy set below 50%.
These 14 states also represent around 75% of the nation’s commercial casinos, so by and large, the restrictions have played their part in reducing the potential revenue.
Consumers’ Confidence Restored
Executives, such as Ocean Casino Resort CEO Terry Glebocki, said that people were finally feeling more comfortable coming out, but she similarly noted that casinos have been putting a pretty penny re-investing in their operations to get customers back, whether through new amenities or health and safety improvements.
MGM Resorts International spokeswoman Callie Driehorst joined the conversation, arguing that there have been many optimistic trends that boosted the overall industry, including inoculation rates, declining COVID-19 cases, and more.
“As business trends continue to improve, we’ll continue to position our business for long-term, sustainable growth,” Driehorst added. Sports betting revenue hit a record-high $961 million or up 270% year-over-year in Q1 2021. Numerous states set gambling revenue records, including Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and others.