The latest comprehensive data for the non-tribal casino gaming market in the United States indicates it was again bigger in annual revenue terms than the Macau casino gaming market. In 2019 the U.S. market revenue grew by 3.7 percent – a fifth straight year of improvement – compared to Macau’s 3.4 percent revenue contraction in 2019. The commercial U.S. sector also outdid Macau and the Philippines combined for revenue.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) – a trade body that represents casino operators, equipment manufacturers and allied casino service providers – said 2019 gaming revenue in the 465 commercial casinos in the U.S. was just over US$43.6 billion.
The 12 months to December 31 “marked another record-setting year for the commercial gaming segment,” noted Bill Miller, president and chief executive of the AGA in a foreword to the report “State of the States 2020”.
“Helped in part by the expansion of legal sports betting, the commercial casino sector logged its fifth consecutive year of gaming revenue growth in 2019 – surging 3.7 percent to US$43.6 billion, a new historic high,” he added.
He also observed that sports betting was now “legalised” in “nearly half” of U.S. states.
In Macau, casino gaming revenue for the 2019 calendar period shrank slightly – even before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic – and was approximately MOP292.46 billion (US$36.6 billion).
Revenue growth in the Philippine casino market during 2019 was from a lower base than either the U.S. or Macau, but was nonetheless fast-paced.
In February the Philippine gaming regulator said that total 2019 gross gaming revenue (GGR) for all casinos in the country rose 15.4 percent to nearly PHP216.39 billion (US$4.3 billion), from PHP187.54 billion in the prior year.
In his look back at 2019, the AGA’s Mr Miller acknowledged the problems already encountered by the U.S. industry during the first half of 2020.
“The Covid-19 crisis that erupted around the world in early 2020 has had a tremendous impact on our industry, employees, and suppliers,” noted the AGA boss.
“Within a span of 11 days, the commercial casino industry went from continued record-breaking growth to complete shutdown. The American gaming industry has never faced a bigger challenge,” he added.
The pandemic had at some stage caused each of the 989 casinos in the U.S. to close, according to information on the AGA’s website, referring to the combination of commercial casinos and U.S. tribal gaming venues.
A so-called Covid-19 casino tracker online tool provided by the association indicated that as of Monday, 621 of the total were open again, while 368 were still closed. In Las Vegas, Nevada (pictured in a file photo), reopenings of major casinos began from June 4.
A press release accompanying the AGA’s latest State of the States report said that, based on research conducted in April this year, AGA member-company executives, including commercial and tribal operator and supplier CEOs and chief financial officers, estimated a revenue decline for the U.S. sector “of slightly more than 40 percent in 2020, and a lengthy timetable for recovery of up to two years”.
According to the report, in 2019 the U.S. commercial industry was said to have generated around US$10.2 billion in gaming taxes for state and local governments.
The report noted that in Las Vegas, supply of gaming venues was “expected to remain largely stable until the middle of 2021 when the US$4.3 billion Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas is scheduled to open at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip”.
The document is produced in collaboration with VIXIO GamblingCompliance, which has representation in London in the United Kingdom, Washington D.C. in the U.S., and Taipei, Taiwan.
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