The American Gaming Association (AGA) released its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker report for July, showing the gradual recovery for the industry from its lows in April and May continued. Commercial gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the industry nationwide posted a third consecutive month of growth following the height of the coronavirus-induced shutdown of properties.
A Closer Look at the Figures
The commercial gaming sector in the country generated in July $2.83 billion, nearly 24% down from the GGR in July 2019 due to the number of casinos which remained closed and the imposed capacity restrictions on the open ones. Compared to the previous months, the July figure represented a 56.4% rise on the $1.81 billion recorded in June and even exceeded the combined amount from the previous 3 months, despite the fact that New York and Michigan, two major gaming states, kept their establishments closed.
State by state, Nevada topped the list, having generated $756.8 million, way ahead compared to second-placed Pennsylvania with $285.6 million, and nearly 3 times more than third-placed New Jersey. Out of these three, though, only Pennsylvania managed to stay afloat year-on-year, posting a slight 1.1% increase, while Nevada and New Jersey GGR decreased by 26.1% and 20.9%, respectively.
Not everything was doom and gloom as there are states which generated growth despite the unprecedented business situation prevailing in the industry during the month. Ohio managed to generate $181.1 million and that figure, despite being only a quarter from what Nevada posted in nominal terms, represented an 11.6% increase compared to July 2019. Mississippi also showed growth on a year-over-year basis, having generated $195.3 million in July, a 6.3% increase from the same month last year.
Vertical by Vertical
July commercial GGR by verticals showed that revenue from slot machines reached $1.88 billion, 66% of the total and 26.8% down from the revenue figure in July 2019. Percentage-wise, table gaming was more negatively impacted and dropped 36.3% year-on-year, $482.1 million, mainly due to the table restrictions implemented as part of states guidelines for mitigating the risk of further spread of the virus.
The biggest winner was the iGaming vertical generating 253.6% more in July compared to the same month the prior year. GGR from online gaming reached $142.9 million for the month, taking full advantage of the shutdown properties. The percent increase should not be taken out of the context, though, which is that iGaming generated only 7.6% in nominal terms compared to slot gaming.
Sports betting revenues increased 86.2% during the month, generating $69 million due to the restart of some of the professional leagues. Following 4 consecutive months of year-on-year contraction, sports betting revenue finally returned to growth. Prior to the impact of the coronavirus, commercial sports books experienced months of growth, 235.5% in January and 64.5% in February compared to the respective months last year.
The factor of opening of new markets should also be taken into account when considering the 18.9% growth in sports betting GGR so far for 2020, as 9 new markets launched wagering on sports events during the last 12 months.