You don’t need us to tell you the impact that COVID-19 has had on the US. And while many industries have felt the strain, that’s truer in gambling than in others.
With the above in mind, you will perhaps be unsurprised to hear that gross gaming revenue (GGR) for commercial gaming dropped by 45.7% in the first half of 2020.
Much of this was caused by the forced shutdown of casino venues across the country.
But in the absence of land-based casino gaming, online gaming enjoyed a significant year-on-year revenue rise.
How bad was the drop?
Overall commercial gaming revenue in the US totaled $11.70 billion in H1 2020. Much of this came from land-based slot games, which generated $7.36 billion. However, this was 78% lower than during the same time period in 2019.
Table games also suffered a pretty significant downturn in activity. Revenue from this form of gambling stood at $2.13 billion, representing a 78.5% year-on-year decline.
Unsurprisingly, much of the chaos was wreaked during the second quarter when COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on the world. During this time period, GGR compared to Q2 2019 dropped by 78.8% and hit a total of $2.3 billion. Table games endured an 86% decline, with $286.9 million coming from that particular source. As for slots, their revenue fell by 81.9%. However, they still surpassed the $1 billion mark – generating $1.3 billion altogether.
It’s not all bad news
Although sports betting revenue dropped by 46.3% year-on-year in Q2, totaling $64.2 million, this vertical performed well when factoring in both quarters. Revenue across Q1 and Q2 stood at $324.9 million, which was 10.4% higher than had been the case in H1 2019. Much of this was, unsurprisingly, sourced from Q1 – when figures stood at over $250 million.
In the absence of land-based gambling, online gaming enjoyed a prosperous first half of 2020. This went up by 189.7% in H1 2020, with operators sharing $634.7 million between them. In the second quarter alone, online casino and poker games amounted to $402.7 million; 250% higher than in Q2 2019, and almost double Q1 2020’s results.
How did individual states fare?
Gambling in Nevada generated $576.3 million, representing a fall of 80.5%. Casinos were permitted to open on June 4th, and much of this revenue came after that date.
In second place was New Jersey. Revenue declined by 66%, but reached $276 million. This was enough to overtake Pennsylvania, in which operators generated $240.2 million. That was 71.5% lower than in the same period last year.
The American Gaming Association (AGA), which published the Q2 results, spoke about the reopening of casinos in June and the significance of this.
“While June 2020 marked a significant drop in year-over-year commercial GGR, it also saw a sharp rise in gaming revenue over the previous two months, generating nearly four times the commercial gaming revenue of April and May combined.”