In a press release from the American Gaming Association, we’ve learned that US gaming revenue reached $13.6 billion in the second quarter of this year, according to their Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. That’s a new industry record, shattering the old mark of $11.1 billion set back in 2019 (and tied earlier this year) by over 22%.
With nearly $24.8 billion generated to date, 2021 is close to surpassing 2020 full-year revenue ($30 billion) and on track to overtake 2019 ($43.6 billion) as the highest-grossing year ever for commercial gaming revenue.
“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,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “This is a testament to our resilience and commitment to providing customers safe environments and world-class entertainment experiences.”
At the state level, 22 out of 25 commercial casino states saw quarterly gaming revenue increases in Q2 2021 compared to the second quarter of 2019. The majority (19 of 25) of commercial casino states outperformed their first half of 2019.
While growth in sports betting and iGaming buoyed the gaming industry over the last year, record brick-and-mortar casino revenue—up nearly 10 percent from its previous high in Q3 2019 to $11.8 billion—is now strengthening the industry’s record-setting US gaming revenue. This is a result of easing capacity and amenity restrictions, coupled with continued consumer demand. While three-quarters of commercial casinos began Q2 capped at 50 percent capacity or less, nearly every commercial casino had returned to full capacity by the end of June.
Sports betting revenue declined 8 percent from the previous quarter to $889 million due to a quieter sports calendar. Despite this, the first half of 2021 has already generated more sports betting revenue ($1.8 billion) than all of 2020 ($1.5 billion). iGaming revenue also had a strong second quarter, achieving a new quarterly revenue record of $901 million, up 15 percent from the first quarter of 2021.
“The past 18 months have proven that this industry can persevere through hard times while remaining dedicated to our customers and communities,” said Miller. “COVID-19 is not yet in the rearview mirror, but I’m confident the record first half of 2021 has laid a strong foundation for the industry’s full recovery.”