By a Biometrica staffer
Nationwide commercial gaming revenue smashed all quarterly records for the second consecutive quarter and reached $13.89 billion in the third quarter of 2021 (Q3 2021), according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. With $38.67 billion generated in revenue through the first nine months of the year, the industry has already beaten 2020’s total revenue and is well on its way to surpass its annual revenue record of $43.65 billion, set in 2019.
Traditional gaming continues to drive the industry’s performance, with combined slot and table game setting a new quarterly revenue record of $12.05 billion. After lagging in previous quarters, table game revenue beat its quarterly revenue record by over 10% in Q3 2021. Ten out of 25 states with commercial casinos hit quarterly revenue records, including the four highest-grossing commercial gaming states in 2019: Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
In August, the AGA reported that nationwide commercial gaming revenue reached $13.64 billion in Q2 2021. “Two straight quarters of record gaming revenue is an incredible accomplishment in any context, let alone after the most challenging year in industry history. Our recovery is not a flash in the pan, but rather a sustained result of our leadership in responsible reopening, world-class entertainment offerings and widespread favorability,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said.
On the Las Vegas Strip too, gaming revenue hit an all-time high of $2.06 billion, per AGA. The record was driven, in part, by the steady return of tourism with 9.2 million people visiting Las Vegas in Q3 2021, a near 10% increase over Q2 2021 and the highest quarterly visitation level since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Travel is continuing to rebound going by latest reports, too. Millions are expected to hit the road and skies over the Thanksgiving holiday, with AAA projecting travel volumes will reach near pre-pandemic levels, CBS News reported on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The AGA said commercial gaming revenue was bolstered by record iGaming revenue of $938.6 million in Q3 2021. Meanwhile, sports betting revenue saw a quarterly low for 2021 of $886.5 million due to a limited end-of-summer sports calendar. Combined sports betting and iGaming revenue through the first nine months of the year was $5.36 billion, up over 200% year-over-year.
In October, the AGA’s newly-launched Gaming CEO Outlook showed confidence in expanded industry growth, with almost half of its member CEOs expecting improved business conditions into 2022.
“With brick-and-mortar gaming setting records, the expansion into new verticals, and domestic and international tourism recovering, the industry is in a strong position for a full recovery. I’m confident that the return of meetings, conventions and international travel will further accelerate gaming’s recovery in 2022,” Miller added.
In Q3 2021, 32 states and the District of Columbia featured operational commercial gaming markets, including casino gaming, sports betting and iGaming.