In the midst of a pandemic, American casinos are still bringing in revenue… and in record numbers! Commercial casinos won nearly $14 billion in the third quarter of 2021, marking the industry’s best quarter ever, and pushing revenue past what it was for all of 2020. The figures from the American Gaming Association show more consumers feel comfortable visiting casinos amid COVID-19, and this as online and sports betting revenues continue to grow.
An article releases by the Associated Press, found American casinos on pace to break the annual record of $43.65 billion, set in 2019. Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at New Jersey’s Stockton University, said pent-up demand among pandemic-weary customers played a big role in the industry’s resurgence as restrictions were lifted… “The explosive growth of internet gaming during the pandemic engaged a new audience of consumers who may have become curious about brick-and-mortar casinos and the in-person gaming experience,” she added.
David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, agreed that eagerness to get out and do things among gamblers who had been reluctant to visit casinos in Las Vegas or in their local regions is one factor driving the higher numbers. Ten out of 25 states with commercial casinos saw quarterly revenue records, including the four highest-grossing commercial gambling states in 2019: Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
On the Las Vegas Strip, gambling revenue also hit an all-time high of $2.06 billion. The association said the record was driven, in part, by the steady return of tourism, with 9.2 million people visiting American casinos and Las Vegas in the third quarter, a nearly 10% increase over the second quarter of this year, and the highest quarterly visitation level since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. Internet gambling revenue set a record at $938.6 million. Sports betting revenue, however, saw a quarterly low for 2021 of $886.5 million due to a limited end-of-summer sports calendar. Combined sports betting and internet gambling revenue through the first nine months of the year was $5.36 billion, up more than 200% year over year.
Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, said: “Since reopening our properties last year, we have made fundamental changes to our operating philosophy ‒ sharpening our focus on building loyalty with core customers while executing our business at a much higher level of efficiency. These changes have resulted in five consecutive quarters of strong performance, including record third-quarter results this year.
The Las Vegas Sands, the American casinos and world leading developer and operator of convention-based Integrated Resorts, recently reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. “While heightened pandemic-related restrictions impacted our financial results this quarter, we were able to generate positive EBITDA in each of our markets. We remain enthusiastic about the opportunity to welcome more guests back to our properties…” said Robert G. Goldstein, chairman and chief executive officer.