July was a great month for the US gaming market and shows clearly why there’s so much interest from operators around the world who want to get involved. According to a new report from the American Gaming Association (AGA), July was good for more than $4 billion in gross gaming revenue in the US, a new record that surpasses the previous high set in May. With more states rolling out sports betting and the NFL season here, the record will likely be shattered once again before the end of the year.
Gaming Revenue High in the US
The AGA’s new Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, released last Friday, highlighted the performance of the US gaming industry from July. It shows staggering numbers, with a total of $4.83 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) coming from land-based and online casinos, as well as sports betting. The total set a new single-month record and broke the previous one, just set in May. Comparing the results to those of July 2019, before COVID-19 brought everything to a screeching halt last year, the GGR is 29.6% higher.
As much as iGaming and sports betting have gained ground, they still have a lot of catching up to do. Land-based casinos took the lion’s share of the money, accounting for $4.29 billion of the GGR. Revenue from slot machines was $3.02 billion, a 19.7% increase from July 2019, and table games accounted for $933.6 million. That is a 23.3% increase from two years earlier. iGaming GGR closed at $305.8 million and sports betting rounded out the market, collecting $228.2 million. However, despite being significantly smaller market segments, iGaming and sports betting saw two-year gains of 656.5% and 514.6%, respectively.
More Growth Still to Come
July had an advantage in that the month included five weekends, allowing it to receive an extra boost. That helped establish the month as the highest on record, surpassing May’s record of approximately $4.7 billion. Like July, May also had five weekends. However, unlike May, July had more properties open and more travel taking place. It was the first month since before the COVID-19 pandemic that commercial casinos across the US were able to operate at 100% capacity.
July was also the fifth consecutive month to see double-digit improvements over the performance of the same months in 2019. Now, with seven months of the year recorded, US gaming has collected almost $29.98 billion, roughly the same amount collected in all of last year. April and May of last year didn’t even reach the half-billion mark and July was only good for $2.9 billion.
During the pandemic, iGaming saw an uptick in activity and this hasn’t waned since COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. Revenue from the segment, which encompasses operations in Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, was just 1.8% lower than the record set this past March. Sports betting’s slowdown follows an annual summer trend that includes fewer targets. The total GGR for the segment, while a big improvement over last year, represents a 33.9% year-on-year drop.