US casinos raked in $11B in first quarter to match best-ever ‘win’

Figures launched Tuesday by the American Gaming Association, the on line casino trade’s nationwide commerce group, present the nation’s business casinos took in over $11.1 billion in the first quarter of this yr.

America’s business casinos matched their finest quarter ever in the first three months of this yr, as clients continued returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and web and sports betting money helped increase income numbers.

That matched the trade’s finest quarter in historical past, the third quarter of 2019. The figures don’t embody tribal casinos.

And March was a very good month: 12 states reported their highest-ever ranges of month-to-month playing income.

The 2021 first-quarter income numbers represented a virtually 18 p.c enhance over the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic started to take maintain nationwide, and a rise of greater than 4 p.c from the first quarter of 2019, earlier than the pandemic started.

The numbers have been much more heartening to trade executives as a result of they got here whereas most casinos were still operating under capacity restrictions designed to sluggish the unfold of the virus.

“Today’s report shows gaming’s comeback is ahead of schedule,” mentioned Bill Miller, the affiliation’s president and CEO. “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.”

Some state-mandated closures remained in impact in the first quarter of this yr. Casinos in Pennsylvania and Illinois have been allowed to reopen from a second mandated shutdown on Jan. 4 and Jan. 16, respectively. In early March, New Mexico turned the final business gaming market to resume operations after having been shuttered for just below a yr.

Fourteen out of the 25 business on line casino states — residence to greater than 75 p.c of the nation’s business casinos — restricted on line casino occupancy to beneath 50 p.c throughout the quarter.

One of the few locations the place business casinos have been working at full capability in the first quarter was South Dakota. It was the first business on line casino state to reopen final yr, on May 7, 2020.

Terry Glebocki, CEO of the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, mentioned buyer volumes at her property have been growing this yr, due in half to a multimillion-dollar reinvestment the on line casino is making.

But there may be one other issue at play, she mentioned.

“I do think we’re seeing more and more people feeling more comfortable coming out” to casinos, she mentioned. “There’s a ton of pent-up demand out there. People want to go out and have fun, and that’s what you do at a casino.”

Traditional brick-and-mortar on line casino video games generated 90 p.c of their first-quarter 2019 income. March was significantly sturdy, with income from slots and desk video games coming inside 1 p.c of March 2019 totals.

Sports betting income set a brand new quarterly file this yr at $961 million, up 270 p.c from a yr earlier, and surpassing 2019’s full-year whole of $909 million.

Helped by the profitable opening of on-line casinos in Michigan, web playing generated $784 million nationwide in the first quarter of this yr, greater than 3 times the quantity from a yr in the past.

In March, a dozen states set month-to-month playing income data: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Virginia.

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