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US commercial gaming revenue plummets to lowest mark since 2003


The American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed that total commercial gross gaming revenue in the US in 2020 came to $29.98bn, the lowest figure since 2003.

Slots made up the majority of sales, but this total was down 33.8% to $18.87bn. Table game revenue came to $5.09bn, meanwhile, down 39.4%.

Despite the suspension of all major sports for a large portion of the year, sports betting GGR was up 68.9% to $1.53bn, thanks mostly to new state markets opening up. Online gaming GGR rose the most sharply, tripling to $1.55bn.

The AGA said 2020’s drop in revenue was unprecedented.

“The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the gaming industry, with GGR contracting by nearly one-third (31.3%) year-over-year, overshadows previous slumps,” it said. “During the Great Recession, gaming revenue decreased by a comparatively mild 8.4 percent during the span of two years.”

Nevada remained the leading state in total gaming revenue, at $7.87bn, but this was down 34.6% and the lowest mark since 1996 for the state. In second was New Jersey, where revenue was down 16.9% to $2.88bn, followed by Pennsylvania where revenue totalled $2.70bn, down 20.3%.

Revenue was down in every state with commercial gaming except for New Hampshire and Oregon, which have online betting products but no land-based commercial casinos.

The AGA said commercial casinos lost a combined 45,602 operating days, representing 27% of the year, because of closures.

Casinos in New Mexico lost the highest percentage operating days, at 79.2%, while South Dakota lost the least at 16.5%.

Looking at sports betting by state, New Jersey led the way with $398.5m, up 33.1%. Pennsylvania followed with $269.9m, up 141.6% with Indiana in third at $136.4m.

Looking just at the fourth quarter of 2020, GGR came to $9.19bn, down 16.5%. Slots made up $5.65bn, down 20.3%, while table game GGR was down 29.9% to $1.45bn. Sports betting GGR more than doubled to $860.4m, while online gaming revenue was up 185.4% to $484.5m.