The American Gaming Association says the COVID - 19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the US commercial gaming ecosystem, with "huge challenges" bringing "significant changes".
This comes as the industry association releases its 2021 State of the States report, which details a 2019 percentage decline in commercial gaming revenue and a significant increase in the top 20 casino markets.
According to the report, while the pandemic has engulfed traditional gaming sectors, the industry has seen huge growth in industries such as sports betting and gambling.
It found that 2020 marked the industry's lowest total annual revenue since 2003, with consumer spending on commercial gaming falling to 29. 98 billion, down 31 percent from 2019. In addition, all 25 states with physical commercial casino games reported lower revenue than 2019.
On a more positive note, Americans bet legally $ $21. 5 billion on sports compared to 2019's $13 billion, while legal sports betting revenue increased 69 percent to 1.5 billion $.
The Baltimore-Washington DC gaming market is now the third-largest in the country, the report stated, surpassing Chicagoland and ahead of only the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City. The Gulf Coast, St Louis and Shreveport / Bossier City markets all jumped up a few spots in the rankings.
Bill Miller, AGA President and CEO , said of the findings: "The games industry faced huge challenges in 2020 - we also saw significant changes as gamer demographics changed and emerging industries saw strong growth.
"From steep revenue declines to booming legal sports betting activity and overwhelming voter enthusiasm for gaming, this year's report reflects both the highs and lows of the past year."
For the first two months of 2020, U.S. commercial gaming revenue increased 11. 4 percent compared to the same time in 2019. However, due to mandatory casino closures and capacity constraints, revenue declined significantly for the remaining 10 months of the year, beginning in March when all U.S. casinos closed due to the COVID - 19 pandemic.
In total, U.S. commercial casinos lost more than 45, 600 business days due to pandemic-related closures last year, meaning they were closed for about 27 average percent of the year.
At the end of the year, 19 and the District of Columbia had active legal sports betting markets. Despite the closure of land-based casinos and the suspension of spring sporting events, sports betting saw significant growth, with Americans legally betting over $ 21. 5 billion on sports last year.
In a survey conducted in April 2020, AGA member company executives, including CEOs and CFOs of commercial and tribal operators and suppliers, estimated a revenue decline of just over 40 percent in 2020 and a recovery timeline of up to two years.
However, Q1 2021 commercial gaming revenue reached its highest ever quarterly revenue, suggesting faster improvement than expected.