With commercial casino gambling revenue declining 79% in the second quarter, the gaming industry in the USA has begun recovering, exploring new and innovative solutions and marketing opportunities to attract patrons back.
Second Quarter Commercial Casino Revenue Slumps
New data provided by the American Gaming Association (AGA) shows that casinos in the United States saw a 79% decline in the second quarter. The data was collected in AGA’s dedicated Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. At the same time, a study by the Washington D.C. trade organization informed that 18 out of 27 commercial casinos in the state reported an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter.
All but one vertical showed a double-digit decline, the organization explained, with the only segment to stay competitive being online gaming with results surging by 254% according to official data.
Commenting on the second-quarter results, AGA chief executive Bill Miller spoke favorably not so much of the decline as to the opportunities to expand the industry online.
According to Miller, the industry was now scrambling to find new and innovative ways to provide gaming opportunities to consumers, including cashless payments, another measure championed by AGA earlier this year.
Results from states where online gambling is legal have been better than the average for the United States, the association reported, with Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, and Nevada all posting better results than the medium.
The data revealed that some 388 of the 465 official commercial casinos in the USA had been able to reopen by the end of the quarter following the nationwide shutdowns issued in mid-March. The specific decline per segment stood at:
- 81.9% down to $1.3 billion for slot machines
- 86% down to $286.9 for table games
- 46.3% down to $64.2 million for sports betting
Miller acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has been the most difficult challenge the gambling industry and the economy at large have faced to date. Yet, the pandemic has also been an opportunity to test the industry’s resilience and expand into new verticals and invest in less vulnerable segments.
There Is Silver Lining, Miller Says
Commercial gaming revenue stood at $11.7 billion, having declined by 45.6% in the first six months of the year. He noted that major sports leagues, such as MLB, NBA, and NHL have been able to provide some innovative forms of entertainment during the pandemic.
Still, the lack of tourists and forcible closures of casinos have been a huge drain on the industry as a whole. He noted that even though air traffic was suspended, most sports fans and bettors felt more comfortable driving to a location to place a bet rather than flying in, which boded well for the local casinos and racebooks throughout the country.
The suspension of some collegiate events would require some adjusting, Miller explained adding:
“Sports betting operators may have to rethink their strategies in the fall with the cancelation of some of the college football season. We’ve never experienced a situation where all commercial gaming revenue disappeared overnight.”AGA CEO Bill Miller
The industry remains committed to “implementing rigorous, innovative protocols that have allowed the vast majority of our properties to reopen and stay open,” Miller concluded.