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Betting & igaming contribution to US gambling grows in July


US commercial gross gambling revenue (GGR) continued to recover in July as more casinos and other venues reopened following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shutdown.

Operators generated $2.83bn during the month, which represented a 56.4% rise on the $1.81bn recorded in June and the third consecutive month of sequential growth. However, July’s total was down 23.9% year-on-year, as operating restrictions such as capacity limits continue to impact operators.

However, the latest figures from the American Gaming Association (AGA) revealed significant growth in the sports betting market, with revenue up 86.2% year-on-year to $69.0m. iGaming was the standout performer, however, with revenue rocketing 253.6% to $142.9m.

Land-based slots were by far the main source of income in July, with revenue amounting to $1.88bn for the month, down 26.8% on last year, while table game GGR also fell 36.3% to $482.1m.

Looking at the performance of individual states, Nevada was some way out in front with $756.8m in GGR, though this was 26.1% lower than last year, as its casino and gambling venues continued to operate at reduced capacity.

This allowed other states, that have significantly expanded their gambling markets, to begin to catch up. Pennsylvania ranked second with $285.6m in revenue, up 1.1% year-on-year, while New Jersey saw GGR reach $264.5m, though this was down 20.9% on July 2019.

Other stand-out performers included Mississippi, where revenue climbed 6.3% year-on-year to $195.3m, while Ohio’s contribution jumped 11.6% to $181.1m.

However, the continued closure of casinos in major states such as New York and Michigan meant that these states made no contribution to the month’s figures. Michigan casinos were allowed to reopen on August 5 and this could help support further market recovery, while New York venues will reopen today (September 9).

The AGA also provided a detailed breakdown of sports wagering performance in July, saying that the return of some major leagues in the US contributed to the vertical’s growth. Players spent a total of $848.2m on sports betting in July, up 46.7% on the previous year.

New Jersey led the way in legal wagering, generating revenue of $29.6m from $315.1m in wagers, followed by Pennsylvania with $13.7m in GGR and a $164.8m handle. Nevada, which until 2018 was the only state offering legal wagering, followed in third on $6.3m in revenue and a $163.5m handle.

For the year-to-date, through to the end of July, total commercial GGR for the US stood at $14.54bn, down 42.4% year-on-year. Slot GGR was 44.5% lower at $9.24bn, while table game revenue fell 46.4% to $2.61bn.

However, the launch of legal sports betting in more states helped drive revenue in this vertical up 18.9% to $394.0m, while igaming GGR also jumped 199.7% to $777.8m.