Several weeks ago, the American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a trade group report compiled by using the Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracking that features gross gaming revenue (GRR) on a monthly and year-to-date basis at both state and national level. The report provided data broken down by individual gaming verticals, including land-based slots and table games, brick-and-mortar and online sports betting, and online gambling.
The AGA revealed that the US commercial gaming revenue over the second quarter of fiscal 2020 amounted to a total of $2.30 billion, a steep 78.8% on a year-on-year basis. The research found that the coronavirus pandemic outbreak had a massive negative impact on the US gaming industry, leading to a revenue decline in almost every reported vertical of the sector in comparison to the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
Most recently, the AGA provided complete national data for June, revealing that the commercial gaming revenue in the country suffered a massive year-on-year decline due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the fact that almost 300 commercial casinos resumed operation in June, almost 100 remained shut by the end of the month. The commercial casinos that started working again, however, were forced to operate with limited capacity, amenities and game availability because of strict social distancing measures.
Reopening of Commercial Casinos Proved Customer Demand Remained Strong in June
While June 2020 marked a considerable decline in the commercial GGR on an annual basis, there was also a massive increase in the gaming revenue in comparison to the previous two months. According to data included in the American Gaming Association’s report, commercial casino venues generated nearly four times the commercial gaming revenue generated in April and May combined.
As the President and CEO of the AGA, Bill Miller, shared, the coronavirus outbreak has been the most difficult economic challenge the US gaming sector has ever faced. Still, he revealed that the gaming’s record popularity before the Covid-19 pandemic combined with the resilience in the midst of such challenges has proved that the industry was poised for continued success, as the nation is emerging from the pandemic.
After the reopening of almost 300 commercial casinos throughout June, the generated revenue was almost four times bigger in comparison to the previous two times combined. For the time being, more than 85% of the casinos in the US are not open, including approximately 9 in 10 commercial casinos, all of which have enforced strict health and safety measures approved by gambling regulatory bodies.
Contrary to recent revenue drops, commercial casinos proved that the customer demand remained strong at the time when the gambling venues reopened. Before the 989 retail casinos in the US ceased operations in March, the overall commercial gaming revenue in January and February increased by 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. After the casino gaming services returned to action in the second quarter, a few states have reported an increase in the average daily GGR per open casino on a year-on-year basis despite they have been forced to resume operation with limited capacity, amenities and game availability.
Some of the states included South Dakota, Ohio and Indiana. Some states experienced declines in their commercial casino GGR, while states such as Mississippi, Delaware and Iowa reached levels that were close to the ones registered in 2019. In other states, the commercial gaming sector in other states resumed operation on a smaller scale or even remained closed altogether.
Sports Betting Revenue Experienced Sharp Decline unlike Online Gambling
Sports betting, on the other hand, experienced a sharp fall in GGR in the second quarter of 2020 because of the shutdown of sports activity, but there is still a slight 4.1% increase in the first half of 2020. According to the AGA report, the increase came as a result of a record start of the 2020 and gambling expansion across the US, with more US states legalizing the new form of gambling.
Commercial gaming revenue and sports betting in the US both saw strong and stable growth before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, with GGR increasing by over 10% year-on-year in January and February 2020 and the first quarter sports betting handled up more than 45% in comparison to the result that was generated a year earlier.
The return of the professional sports leagues and their events, including European soccer, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, etc., helped US sportsbooks keep a steady revenue in June. The extended hiatus of the major US sports leagues, however, continued to suppress the betting activity of local customers in June.
Online gambling has been the only gaming vertical that saw an increase on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of 2020, marking its first full quarter in which it generated larger revenue in comparison to the sports betting sector after the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting activities in the country.