The American Gaming Association (AGA) just released its annual report on the state of gambling in the US yesterday, and the results show a significant drop in commercial casino revenue for 2020. The 31% decline was inarguably the result of the damage caused by COVID-19, but sports gambling and iGaming revenue rose during the year. The $30 billion in commercial casino revenue was the lowest amount recorded since 2003.
The State of the States 2021: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry report shows that, as commercial casinos were forced to shut down for months and subsequently maintained greatly reduced capacities, the properties suffered long droughts. All 25 states that offer commercial casinos reported revenue that was lower than what was recorded in 2019, with a combined loss of 45,600 business days resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. New Mexico saw the worst revenue decline.
“Covid-19 devastated our business and the employees and communities across the country that rely on casino gaming’s success,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller in a separate statement. “These numbers show the economic realities of Covid-19 and underscore the importance of targeted federal relief and ramped-up vaccine distribution to accelerate gaming’s recovery in 2021.”
While commercial casino revenue fell, sports gambling and iGaming rose. There was a total of $21.5 billion wagered on sports, up from the $13 billion recorded a year earlier, leading to revenue of $1.5 billion – a 69% year-on-year increase. iGaming revenue was $1.6 billion in the four markets that were active last year, representing growth of 200% over 2019’s figures. The Baltimore-Washington, DC market has now become the third-largest gaming market as a result, trailing only Atlantic City in second place and the Las Vegas Strip in first.