AGA highlights an almost 80% drop in Q2 commercial gaming revenue

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Commercial gaming revenue in the US plummeted 78.8 per cent year-on-year to total $2.3bn during the year’s second quarter, reports the American Gaming Association.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US gaming industry saw revenue decline in nearly every reported vertical compared to Q2 2019.

Utilising data from the group’s new commercial gaming revenue tracker, the quarter saw igaming become the only vertical to experience yoy growth, as well as representing the first full quarter that it generated more revenue than sports betting in the post-PASPA era. Online casino gaming is only legal in six states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, Michigan (not live), and West Virginia.

Sports betting experienced a sharp decline in GGR in the second quarter due to the shutdown of sports activity, but is still up slightly, 4.1% per cent, in the first half of 2020.

“COVID-19 has undoubtedly posed the most difficult economic challenge the gaming industry has ever faced,” commented Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO. “Yet, gaming’s record popularity prior to COVID-19, as well our resilience in the midst of such adversity, is evidence of the industry’s foundation for continued success as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Contrary to recent revenue declines, however, commercial casinos demonstrated strong consumer demand in 2020 when open for business, with revenue across January and February, before all 989 venues closed their doors, up 10.4 per cent from 2019. 

Following the return of casino gaming in Q2, several states have reported a year-over-year uptick in average daily GGR despite operating with limited capacity, game availability, and amenities. This includes South Dakota (+42.5 per cent), Ohio (+19.3 per cent), and Indiana (+7.4 per cent).

While April and May both experienced year-over-year GGR declines north of 90 percent, June saw nearly 300 commercial casinos reopen throughout the month and, as a result, revenue was nearly four times greater than the previous two months combined. 

“The gaming industry has been a leader in implementing rigorous, innovative protocols that have allowed the vast majority of our properties to reopen and stay open,” continued Miller. 

“With business returning to casino floors and sportsbooks seeing increased action, the gaming industry is steadily charting a responsible path to recovery that prioritises health and safety, supports the communities where we operate, and offers first-class entertainment.”