October generates second highest gaming and betting revenues according to AGA tracker

Image source: American Gaming Association

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has published the latest edition of its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. The monthly report shows that October marked the US commercial gaming industry’s second-strongest month ever, with $4.75bn generated in traditional casino gaming, sports betting and igaming revenue. 

With a few states reporting November revenue numbers early, commercial gaming revenue for the year so far has hit $44.15bn, already surpassing 2019’s revenue record of $43.65bn, and now making it the highest-grossing year ever. 

According to the tracker, the US commercial gaming industry maintained its momentum into October as casinos benefitted from two extra weekend days compared to 2019. The month also saw Connecticut launch commercial sports betting and igaming, making this historic tribal casino market the country’s 34th commercial gaming state.

Said the report: “Combined revenue from traditional casino gaming, sports betting and igaming was $4.75bn, the second highest monthly total ever and an increase of 30.7% compared to October 2019. On a sequential basis, revenue was up 4.8% from September. 

“The industry has now surpassed $4bn in monthly commercial gaming revenue for eight consecutive months. Prior to this year, monthly revenue had never topped $4bn.”

Year-to-date through October, commercial gaming revenue hit $43.43bin, nearly tying the industry’s full-year record of $43.65bn from 2019 and tracking 19.8% ahead of the same 10-month period in 2019. 

At the state level, 24 of 25 commercial gaming jurisdictions that were operational in October 2019 saw revenue grow from two years ago, with New Mexico staying flat (-0.7%).

After the first 10 months of 2021, 11 of 25 commercial gaming states that were operational two years ago have already exceeded annual revenue from 2019 and a further eight markets are outperforming the same period of that year. Six states – Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota – have surpassed previous full-year revenue records.

In October, traditional gaming revenue again topped pre-pandemic levels by double digits, reaching $3.97bn. US casino slot game revenue hit $2.84bn, up 16% over October 2019, while table games generated $831.2m, an increase of 23.2% from two years ago. Between January and October, traditional casino games generated $37.24bn, up 5.8% from the same 10-month period in 2019.

At the state level, brick-and-mortar casino revenue was up from 2019 in 23 of 25 states, with only minor declines coming in Michigan (-3.6%) and New Mexico which was essentially flat (-0.7%). Through October, 14 of 25 states have generated more traditional gaming revenue in 2021 compared to the same 10 months in 2019. Longer periods of Covid-19 restrictions or shutdowns in the first half of 2021 mostly account for year-to-date declines in the other eleven states.

Despite the end of the summer travel season, available visitation data shows no significant declines in casino admissions in October. Overall casino admissions remain depressed compared to pre-pandemic levels in regional markets, yet the Las Vegas destination market continues to rebound, welcoming a pandemic-record 3.4 million visitors in October. 

Meanwhile, consumer spend levels continue to surpass pre-pandemic levels. In the five states with available data, average casino win per visitor was up between 18.5 and 44.9% compared to October 2019.

October also saw Connecticut become the 34th state with commercial gaming after launching sports betting and igaming. Along with a packed sports calendar, this drove a record level of betting activity as Americans wagered $7.05bn on sports across 25 commercial sports betting jurisdictions. 

Through October, year-to-date total US sports betting handle stands at $42.19bn, nearly doubling the $21.57bn wagered through October 2020 when 17 markets were live.

With some data yet to be reported, commercial sportsbooks held at least $407.7m in October, narrowly surpassing the previous monthly record of $405m set in September, while revenue from igaming similarly reached an all-time high level of $357.3m.

Combined revenue from sports betting and igaming accounted for 16.1% of total commercial gaming revenue in October, staying flat from September.