According to numbers revealed Tuesday, commercial casinos in the United States made $53 billion in 2021, their biggest year ever. Even though online and sports betting continue to rise in the United States, the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade body, revealed year-end numbers showing that in-person gambling remains the gambling industry’s primary source of revenue.
The $53 billion gained by casinos in 2019 was more than 21% greater than the previous highest year, which occurred before the coronavirus outbreak.
They also reveal that many gamblers have not been stopped from visiting a casino in person, even while highly infectious virus strains were on the rise during the epidemic. To try to restrict the spread of the virus, the casinos have spent millions on health and safety standards.
Physical Casinos Were Not the Only Success Story
“These outcomes are nothing short of astounding,” said Bill Miller, the association’s president, and CEO, during a webcast to discuss the findings.
“The success of 2021 demonstrates our dedication to health and safety, as well as the enthusiasm with which Americans have embraced gaming’s development across the country. Today’s business is effectively serving customers’ needs in terms of how and where they want to connect, whether it’s at a casino or via mobile gaming.”
The figures do not include revenue from tribal casinos, which are reported separately. Last year, in-person gamblers at casinos earned about $45 billion, up 6.6 percent from the previous year.
Sports Betting Expanded Heavily as Well
Sports betting expansion continued last year, with more than $57 billion placed legally on sports, up 165 percent from 2020. After winning bets and other expenditures were deducted, casinos and racetrack sportsbooks received about $4.3 billion in income. This is a 177 percent increase from 2020.
New commercial sports betting markets opened in Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming, which aided the industry. In 2021, two additional online gambling markets, Connecticut and Michigan, will launch, helping the industry reach a new high of $3.7 billion in revenue.
For the year, total sports betting and online gambling income exceeded $8 billion, increasing 158 percent from 2020 and accounting for a record 15.1 percent of overall gambling revenue.
During the epidemic, the AGA expressed worry over the sluggish resumption of business and leisure travel. Overall trip spending is down 20% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Miller.
“Business travel, meetings and events, and entertainment — all major income generators for many operators — have taken a long time to recover,” he added.
“The impact of this is compounded by low foreign tourism to the United States, which is necessary for destination markets like Las Vegas to fully recover. And casino attendance among the older, core clientele is just now returning to pre-pandemic levels.”
“The entire resumption of tourism and huge events, which requires a secure health environment and an open economy,” he continued, “is still predicated on gaming’s ultimate recovery.”
How Does the Casino Forecast Look for the Future?
Miller believes the casino business will have a bright future in 2022, noting the debut of mobile sports betting in Louisiana and New York, which has become the nation’s No. 1 sports betting market in only four weeks, with over $2 billion gambled.
He anticipates sports betting to go online in Ohio and Nebraska in 2022, while Maryland’s mobile debut is “in the works.”
Seven more states are exploring sports betting legislation, and four are studying internet gambling legislation. He also mentioned that physical casinos will open in Virginia this year, as well as a few new racetrack casinos in Nebraska.
Last Updated on by Ryan