The American Gaming Association (AGA) has published its latest Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, signaling continued growth and recovery with April commercial gaming revenue up by more than 25% year-on-year.
The increase, it noted, was fueled by rising vaccination rates, an overall positive trend in consumer spending and continuing momentum in the sports betting and igaming verticals. April 2021 was commercial gaming’s second highest grossing gaming revenue month ever, with combined casino revenue from traditional casino gaming, sports betting, and igaming reaching $4.39bn.
Sports betting and igaming boosted April numbers and helped propel overall gaming revenue beyond pre-pandemic levels. Nationwide revenue from igaming reached $299.9m in April, the first month-on-month decline (-3.6%) since last November.
With the early-April end of March Madness – traditionally the most wagered-on event in the US sports betting calendar – commercial sportsbook revenue dropped 31.7% from March, generating $240.3m.
Still, this is nearly four times (+358.7%) the national hold in April 2019, with the number of active commercial sports betting jurisdictions more than doubling (from seven to 19) since then.
Combined revenue from sports betting and igaming accounted for more than 12.5% of all US commercial gaming revenue in April, down slightly from 14.8% in March, but well above pre-pandemic levels.
That total was down 2%, however, from a record $4.80bn in March, primarily due to a 31.7% drop in sports betting receipts from the previous month.
Fewer operating restrictions supported April’s growth with eight of 25 traditional casino states allowing properties to operate at full occupancy. Of America’s 463 commercial casino properties, approximately 80% remained constrained to between 25% (New York) and 75% of full occupancy, and with lingering limitations on game capacity and other amenities.
Traditional gaming revenue – slot and table games – in April totaled $3.79bn, outperforming the previous month (+0.9%) and just 1.7% shy of a record. Monthly revenue from casino slot machines was at an all-time high during the month, while table game revenue is now nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.
Said the report: “Four states – Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana and Missouri – track casino admissions, allowing a look at revenue per visitor and illustrating how strong consumer spending outlasted the original reopening rush. When these states first welcomed patrons back in May, June and July of last year, casinos experienced a spike in average traditional gaming revenue per admission.
“After dipping slightly in the months after reopening, with Illinois casinos shuttering for a second time in December, on-property consumer spending in these states is trending back up: April traditional casino gaming revenue per admission increased between 23% and 49% from 2019 levels in each state.
Of the 25 commercial gaming states that were operational two years ago, only four – Maine, Illinois, Rhode Island and West Virginia – saw total April gaming revenue drop compared to 2019. However, Illinois is expected to show positive growth once sports betting data is released later this month.