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According to the newest edition of the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, US commercial gaming revenue hit $13.6 billion in Q2 2021, a new industry high.
The sum surpasses the previous high by more than 22 percent, which was reached in Q3 2019 and matched in Q1 2021.
With roughly $24.8 billion in revenue thus far, 2021 is on course to surpass 2020’s full-year revenue ($30 billion) and overtake 2019 ($43.6 billion) as the highest-grossing year in commercial gaming history.
AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said: “These first half results are truly remarkable. It is even more impressive when you consider commercial gaming revenue was at its lowest point ever just a year ago. This is a testament to our resilience and commitment to providing customers safe environments and world-class entertainment experiences.”
Quarterly gaming revenue increased in 22 of the 25 commercial casino states in Q2 2021 compared to the second quarter of 2019. The majority of commercial casino states (19 out of 25) underperformed in the first half of 2019.
Brick and mortar casinos
While the gaming industry has been supported by growth in sports betting and igaming over the last year, record brick-and-mortar casino revenue – up nearly 10 percent from its previous high of $11.8 billion in Q3 2019 – is now bolstering the industry’s record-setting rebound.
According to the group, this is due to the relaxation of capacity and amenity limits, as well as sustained customer demand. While three-quarters of commercial casinos started the second quarter with capacity of 50 percent or less, by the end of June, practically every commercial casino had restored to full capacity.
Due to a quieter sports calendar, sports betting income fell 8 percent from the previous quarter to $889 million. Despite this, the first half of 2021 has already earned more money from sports betting ($1.8 billion) than the entire year of 2020 ($1.5 billion).
Igaming revenue had a robust second quarter as well, reaching a new quarterly high of $901 million, up 15 percent from the first quarter of 2021.
Miller added: “The past 18 months have proven that this industry can persevere through hard times while remaining dedicated to our customers and communities. COVID-19 is not yet in the rear-view mirror, but I’m confident the record first half of 2021 has laid a strong foundation for the industry’s full recovery.”