A massive increase in commercial gambling revenue has been reported in the United States this week. The AGA (American Gaming Association) has long run a Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker to keep tabs on how things look. This month, a new record for the first quarter was set, with reported revenues exceeding $11 billion.
A New Record Amid Recovery
If the $11 billion figure is to be believed, this will represent a 4.1% increase on the last time a record was set, in 2019. Of course, that previous record was set in pre-pandemic times, so the fact that there is a 4.1% increase on that figure is nothing short of remarkable. By contrast, the commercial gaming revenue figure for this quarter is substantially larger (17.7%) than at the same time last year.
Analysis of the report shows that over 50% of all commercial casinos made quarterly revenue gains based on their 2019 figures. Many are now suggesting that the upswing in revenue clearly indicates that the commercial gambling sector is very much on the road to recovery after a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Only Way Is Up
What makes the report more remarkable is the fact that there is still plenty of room to grow. Much of the increase will have been earned during a time of tightened restrictions. Even now, land-based casinos are not operating at maximum capacity, and many of their services are still sorely lacking compared to two years ago.
Despite this, residents in some states have been willing to venture out to casinos and enjoy limited gameplay. Forecasters predict that if this trend continues once all the remaining restrictions are gradually released, we could be looking at a genuinely colossal record being set for the second and third quarters.
Other Significant Market Rises
Casino gameplay is not the only gambling enterprise on the rise. Sports betting has also seen an increase. The addition of so many sports betting amenities and options has seen a total revenue of $961 million for the first quarter. This is a 270% rise on the same quarter last year and a slight jump on the $909 million reported in the first quarter of 2019. Even online casino gambling is doing well, with the AGA report showcasing that internet gambling generated $784 million during the same period, more than triple the amount reported during the same time in 2020.