U.S. commercial casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled $2.30 billion in the second quarter of 2020; down 78.8 percent from the same three-month period in 2019 and down 75.6 percent from the first quarter of 2020 as casinos remained shuttered throughout most of Q2, according to the Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker service provided by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
In the first six months of 2020, commercial gaming revenue contracted 45.6 percent compared to the same period last year. This stark drop would have been even more severe had it not been for gaming’s record performance during January and February, when revenue grew 10.6 percent over the same period last year.
BRICK-AND-MORTAR GAMING RETURNS
Following the near-total shutdown of the U.S. casino gaming industry for much of March and April, by the close of the second quarter, more than four in five U.S. casinos had reopened for business, including 388 commercial casinos across 18 of 25 commercial markets.
In certain states, the hoped-for pent up demand for gaming materialized: several states saw average daily slot and table game revenue per open brick-and-mortar casino actually increase from 2019, including Delaware, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Meanwhile, drops in average daily gaming revenue per casino in other states were influenced by several factors, such as continued property closures (more profitable casinos remained closed or opened later in Q2), limited games types (Arkansas and Rhode Island did not allow table games in Q2), and limited gaming positions as required by state and local reopening guidelines.
SPORTS BETTING SURPASSED BY I-GAMING
With sporting events largely curtailed for most of the second quarter, sportsbooks recorded $64.2 million in gross revenue in Q2, down 46.3 percent from 2019 and marking the first quarter with negative year-over-year growth in the post-PASPA era. The near complete closure of physical sportsbooks and limited sporting events was compounded by the continued inability of consumers to remotely register mobile wagering accounts in Iowa, Nevada and Rhode Island.
Despite the enormous quarterly decline year-over-year, sports betting revenue for the first half of 2020 remains up 10.4 percent from the same period last year. Q1 2020 outperformed 2019 by 49.3 percent due, in part, to legal sportsbooks going live in 12 states over the past year.
Amid the absence of traditional gaming options, i-gaming has continued to break revenue records throughout the first half of 2020, growing 253.8 percent in the second quarter from 2019. Q2 also marked the first full quarter with i-gaming generating more revenue than sports betting in the post-PASPA era. Between the demise of PASPA and the outbreak of COVID-19, sports betting had consistently been growing at a higher rate than i-gaming, but that trend has shifted for the time being. To date, i-gaming revenue has nearly tripled (189.8 percent) in 2020 from the same period last year.
The Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, a new feature that can be found at www.americangaming.org, compiles state-by-state and cumulative financial performance data with breakdowns for individual gaming verticals, including brick-and-mortar slot and table games, retail and online sports betting, and i-gaming.