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Record betting figures boost US gaming performance in August


The US gambling industry saw a fourth consecutive month of sequential growth in August as the return of sport generated record betting handle.

Figures compiled by the American Gaming Association (AGA) show that a crowded sports calendar led players to wager $2.1bn in August, the largest monthly handle in US sports betting history. Operators generated $119.4m in revenue from August’s record stakes, the second highest grossing month on record.

The overall figures were boosted by big rises in sports betting and online gaming. The $119.4m monthly revenue figure represented a 90.2% year-on-year improvement, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) resumed, Major League Baseball (MLB) continued and punters looked ahead to the National Football League (NFL) season. Online gaming, meanwhile, grew 224.2% to $145.3m.

The month’s record-setting handle of $2.1bn represented a 174.8% year-on-year rise, with New Jersey the leader on $668.0m, a 127.5% rise from August 2019, and the largest monthly handle ever recorded in any state.

Four more states also saw handle surpass $100m in August. Nevada stakes reached $474.5m, while amounts wagered in Pennsylvania came to $365.0m. Indiana’s handle grew to $169.0m, and Colorado, which only launched legal wagering in May, brought in $128.6m.

Several states saw more money wagered on sports in August than in any previous month, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and New Jersey.

New Jersey also boasted the largest revenue share, at $39.5m, which was up 56.5% year-on-year Pennsylvania’s revenue of $27.6m, with Nevada on $17.0m.

August marked the fourth straight month of gaming’s recovery, with nationwide revenue up 5.6% from July. However, the continuing impact of  novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the country’s land-based industry meant August’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) across all products and channels was down 19.8% year-on-year at $3.0bn.

Revenue from slots was down 21.7% to $1.9bn, with table games down 29% at $528.7m.

Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania saw year-over-year gaming revenue gains for a second consecutive month, while South Dakota has now had revenue grow in each of the past three months. Ohio casinos set an all-time record for August, with $172.1m in gaming revenue.

“Nine states showed signs of continued recovery in August, with reduced year-over-year revenue declines compared to July,” an AGA spokesperson said. “Eight states reported gaming revenue approaching last year’s level, despite continuing to operate with limited capacity, game availability, and non-gaming amenities.”

For the year to date, total US gross gaming revenue is down 39.4% year-on-year at $17.5bn, although betting is up 31.5% at $517.7m and online gaming is up 203.3% at $923.1m.