US commercial gambling revenue reached $11bn for the first quarter of 2021, making it the industry’s joint highest-grossing quarter ever, according to statistics released by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
Matching the revenue grossed from Q3 2019, this quarter marks a 17.7% increase on Q1 2020, in which the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic brought the industry to a standstill, or a 4.1% increase on Q1 2019’s pre-pandemic performance.
Increases in gaming revenue were largely due to the industry’s performance in March – the highest-grossing month in history for US commercial gaming.
Over half of the states with commercial casinos saw quarterly gaming revenue increases compared to Q1 2019, and multiple states reported record quarters.
AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said: “Today’s report shows gaming’s comeback is ahead of schedule. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry has faced numerous challenges head-on while still reopening responsibly and providing a safe, exciting environment for customers.
“The gaming industry is generating these impressive results with one hand tied behind our back as capacity and amenity restrictions remain across the country.
“This is a testament to gaming’s hard work to help ensure our team members’ safety and well-being, which enabled us to reopen safely. We applied those same standards to our customers, whose clear pent-up demand was met by our responsible industry.”
Q1 2021 also set a record for sports betting revenue, with the $961m recorded a 270.0% increase on the same period last year. Table games grossed were down 12.0% to $1.6bn, slots generated 10.6% more than 2020 with $6.7bn, while igaming revenue reached $784.5m – a massive 238.9% increase.