AGA State of the States 2021: 31% decline in US commercial gaming revenue

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released its annual State of the States report, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a “significant impact on the gaming industry in 2020.”

Last year marked the industry’s lowest total annual revenue since 2003, with consumer spending on commercial gaming falling 31% from 2019 to $29.98bn.

Also highlighted in the report was the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. gaming market surpassing Chicagoland as the third-largest in the US, now behind only the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City.

Other significant figures from the State of the States 2021 include all 25 states with physical commercial casino gaming reporting lower revenues than in 2019.

During the first two months of 2020, US commercial gaming revenue was up 11%, but mandatory closures and capacity restrictions saw revenue fall significantly for the remaining ten months of the year.

Such closures led to America’s commercial casinos losing more than 45,600 business days throughout 2020, meaning they were closed for approximately 27% of the year on average.

Sports betting, however, experienced significant growth, with Americans legally wagering $21.5bn on sports, compared to $13bn in 2019. Revenue from legal sports betting meanwhile increased by 69% to $1.5bn. By the end of 2020, 19 states plus the District of Columbia had active legal sports betting markets.

“The gaming industry faced enormous challenges in 2020 – and we also saw significant changes, as player demographics shifted and emerging verticals saw strong growth,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. 

“From sharp revenue declines, to booming legal sports betting activity and overwhelming voter enthusiasm behind gaming, this year’s report reflects both the highs and lows of the past year.”

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