Reports from the American Gaming Association (AGA) show gaming revenue from non-tribal casinos between January and February 2022. It shows that gross gaming revenue (GGR) has had a record start based on the results from these first two months. Although tribal casinos are not included in this report, there are signs that they are also experiencing similar growth.
With the relaxation of restrictions put in place due to the pandemic, it was always expected that casinos across America would start to recover. Especially as this meant more sporting events such as the NFL and the subsequent Super Bowl attracting a large quantity of sports bets.
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GGR Figure For All Verticals
GGR from every vertical in February amounted to $8.92 billion. This is a 19% improvement in the same months of 2020 and 34% in 2021. Officials of the AGA state that the head start for these two months is the best in the United States gambling history. The major parts of the gambling sector – in-person slots and table games, brought in revenue of around $7.18 billion in the initial two months of 2022. This is an increase of just around 1% from $7.11 billion attained during the same period of 2020.
The AGC gets its data from gaming reports of the states. The Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker aligns with GGR statistics from the 27 states where commercial casino gambling is legal. Verticals included in the GGR count range from retail slots/VGTs, sports betting, and table games. Also included are daily fantasy sports, online sports betting and iGaming. However, lottery revenue is not included.
Record Year not a Surprise
Even though the ground-breaking numbers for January and February are great news for stakeholders in the industry, it should not come as a surprise. This is because GGR has experienced continuous growth due to the constant development of gaming in all parts of the country.
Legal sports betting and iGaming have continued to increase gaming numbers. According to reports from the AGA, the 2020 commercial GGR made a total of $53 billion. This is way more than the maximum high of $43.65 billion achieved in 2019. Since there are fewer restrictions on brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and casinos in 2022, there are high hopes in the industry that it can achieve more than the $53 billion mark.
Sports betting and iGaming are playing vital roles in the constantly rising GGR numbers. In January and February 2022, regulated sportsbooks earned $957.1 million from sports bettors, while the GGR of iGaming was almost $773 million. The combined earnings of around $1.73 billion from iGaming and sports betting far surpass the $1.48 billion earned by the house from land-based table games.
Much of this is due to sporting events that were previously postponed, or cancelled, are now finally taking place. Formula 1 is an example of one such sport that has returned to normal, though the conflict in Russia left the sport with some tough decisions to make.
Change Can Occur without Warning
In January and February, the previous all-time high for US commercial casinos was in 2020. The GGR in these two months came to a total of $7.49 billion. Only five casinos were responsible for this fast gambling pace at the beginning of 2020. These include Kansas with – 11.7%, New Mexico with – 6.4%, Rhode Island with -13.3%, Oklahoma with -5.2%, and Louisiana with -2.3%. The association linked the lower win for the casinos in Rhode Island to New England’s extremely competitive environment after the opening of Boston Harbor in 2019. On the other hand, Kansas casinos are still experiencing the effect of more competition due to a tribal gaming facility that is starting operations not far from the largest commercial casino in the state.
However, after the numbers were compiled and reported in 2020, the lockdown came into play. This resulted in all casinos stopping operations for a while. As a result, commercial casinos lost more than 45,000 operating days in 2020. The overall GGR for the year was only $30 billion, marking an unfortunate finish to a great start. So, should a new variant, much like the Delta variant, spread across the globe and the US, things could change for the US gambling industry very quickly.