AGA Revenue Tracker highlights best ever quarter of trading for US gaming

Image source: American Gaming Association

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has published the latest edition of its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, showing that Q3 2021 trading generated $13.89bn in nationwide commercial gaming revenue, the best quarter ever for the industry.

According to the Tracker, gaming revenue was up 53.8% over the COVID-impacted Q3 2020 and 24.7% higher than Q3 2019.

Gaming’s sustained growth since the end of the first quarter, with monthly gaming revenue not dipping below $4.4bn since February, positions 2021 to become the highest-grossing year in the history of US commercial gaming. 

In the first nine months of the year, commercial casinos generated $38.67bn, passing 2020 total revenue and up 18.5% from the same period in 2019, the current record year.

And despite recent record-shattering performance, said the AGA, the casino industry has room to grow heading into the final quarter of the year with new commercial gaming markets recently opening in Arizona, Connecticut and Wyoming. Destination markets, it added, will benefit from a return of meetings and conventions and the easing of international travel restrictions.

While the record performance of brick-and-mortar casino games drove overall gaming revenue to an all-time high, igaming also set a quarterly record with the vertical growing 4.1% from the preceding quarter to $938.6m.

Sports betting revenue generated $886.5m in the third quarter, up 153.1% from a year ago. The limited summer sports calendar drove a quarterly low for 2021 in both revenue and handle, $11bn compared to $13.02bn in Q1 and $11.10bn in Q2.

Combined revenue from sports betting and igaming accounted for 13.1% of total gaming revenue in Q3 2021, level with the second quarter and down from 15.7% in the first quarter.

In the first nine months of 2021, igaming generated $2.62bn in revenue, growing 145.4% from the same period in 2020, while sports betting revenue reached $2.74bn, up 306.5%.

The Tracker also noted that consumer demand continued into the third quarter as 10 of 25 commercial casino states reported new quarterly revenue records, including the four highest-grossing states in 2019 – Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. 

In Nevada, the quarter also saw the highest ever quarterly gaming win for both Clark Country ($3.16bn) and the Las Vegas Strip ($2.06bn). In Louisiana – the nation’s fifth largest gaming state in 2019 – revenue dropped by 10.8% from Q3 2019 as Hurricane Ida forced casinos to shutter for up to two weeks. Kansas was the only other state to see gaming revenue contract from the same period in 2019 (-1.8%).

Association President and CEO Bill Miller stated: “This marks the second consecutive record-setting quarter for the commercial gaming sector, and 2021 is on pace to be the highest-grossing year ever for our industry. This is an impressive feat under any circumstance, let alone as we are emerging from the pandemic.

“Importantly, our comeback is being led by gaming’s traditional verticals as brick-and-mortar casinos saw record quarterly revenue. These gains are due in part to the steady return of travel and tourism, as well as the recovery of table game revenue, which had lagged behind the recovery of slots in previous quarters.”