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US – North American casinos driving the recovery with greater share of leisure spend

By - 22 September 2021

Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli has said that North American casinos and other forms of gambling are leading the recovery from the pandemic with gaming now outpacing the revenues earned in 2019, when $109bn was spent in casinos and $142bn on wider betting channels.

Since March of this year, gaming has beaten its 2019 rate by double digits in most states where casinos are legal with Illinois and Pennsylvania among the few exceptions.

Mr. Santarelli said: “Over the better part of the last 12 months, the gaming segment, including not only casinos, but also lotteries and horse racing, has materially outperformed broader recreational spend trends, taking a considerable share of the lost spend in venues like amusement parks, movie theaters, concerts, and live spectator sports. Aggregate recreational spend, including gaming and dining, only turned positive in May, when compared to 2019 while recreational spend excluding gaming and dining has remained down over 20 per cent in each month in 2021.”

The four months of April, May, June and July 2021, saw $18bn in leisure spend switch towards casinos, sports betting, and online gaming, according to Mr. Santarelli.

He added: “Since March, spend on gaming has grown, on average, 12 per cent monthly, versus the corresponding months in 2019, materially outperforming broader recreational spend. Within gaming spend, casino gaming has outperformed modestly (up 13 per cent monthly average gains versus 2019), as growth, relative to 2019, reached its year to date peak of up 18 per cent in July. Casinos and other forms of gaming benefited from not just considerable consumer liquidity, but also closures/extended re-openings in adjacent industries that traditionally compete for the consumer recreational dollar.”

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