August marked the fourth consecutive month of recovery for the commercial gaming industry in the United States, following April’s historic low-point. Gaming revenue rose 5.9 per cent from July to $3.01bn in August showing evidence of gaming’s continued return.
The figures come from The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker which features monthly and year-to-date gross gaming revenue (GGR) at a state and national level, broken down by individual gaming verticals.
The AGA stated: “The path to a full recovery is still long with August 2020 down 19.5 percent compared to 2019, as slot and table game GGR remain in the red.”
Eight commercial casinos reopened in August, including three casinos in Detroit, MI (8/5), four properties in Miami-Dade County, FL (8/31) and one casino on the Las Vegas Strip (8/27). The four casinos in Lake Charles, LA re-closed on August 25 in preparation of Hurricane Laura, leaving 46 commercial casinos still shuttered at month’s end.
Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania saw year-over-year gaming revenue gains for a second consecutive month, while South Dakota has now had revenue grow in each of the past three months. Ohio casinos set an all-time record for August with $172.1m in gaming revenue.
Nine states showed signs of continued recovery in August, with reduced year-over-year revenue declines compared to July. Eight states reported gaming revenue approaching last year’s level, despite continuing to operate with limited capacity, game availability, and non-gaming amenities.
An unusual and more crowded August sports calendar resulted in one of the strongest months for legal sports betting in US history as Americans wagered a record $2.19bn on sports across 17 states and the District of Columbia. The record handle generated $126.7 million in revenue, the second highest grossing month ever, behind January 2020 ($138.9).
Several states saw more money wagered on sports in August than in any previous month, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Jersey. The Garden State sportsbooks accepted $668m in bets in August – the largest monthly handle ever recorded in any state. National sports betting revenue is up 33.2 per cent in the first seven months of 2020, compared to the same period last year; the total amount wagered rose 26.2 per cent.