Casinos Just Had Their Best Month Ever Gambling industry reports record $5.31 billion in revenue for the month of March

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Casinos just had their best month ever gambling industry reports record $5.31 billion in revenue for the of march

Gamblers spent $8.19 billion on slot machines during the first quarter, a 19% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the American Gaming Association. (Photo: AFP)

Gamblers, eager to get back to slot machines and blackjack tables, have shrugged off inflation increases and fueled a record-breaking March for the casino industry.

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U.S. casinos reported $5.31 billion in revenue in March, the highest monthly revenue in the industry’s history, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Gaming Association.

Gambling revenue was $14.31 billion from January through March, a record for a first quarter. The figures exclude revenue from casinos run by Native American tribes.

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“We are off to the best start we ever had as an industry,” Bill Miller, chief executive of the AGA, said in an interview.

The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a blow to the casino industry in 2020. Revenue dropped to $30 billion for the year as parts of the economy shut down. The 31% decline from 2019 marked the lowest gambling revenue total since 2003, according to the AGA.

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But the industry has bounced back as Covid restrictions have been lifted, and casinos have benefited from pent-up demand from gamers eager to spend money on leisure and entertainment. And gamblers haven’t been put off from visiting casino destinations such as Las Vegas because prices for food and accommodations have risen.

The casino industry reported $53.03 billion in revenue in 2021, a 21.5% increase from the previous high set in 2019, according to the AGA.

Revenue figures for 2021 aren’t available yet for tribal-run casinos, but they are expected to show similar growth, Mr. Miller said.

Casinos run by 248 federally recognized tribes across 29 states generated $27.8 billion in revenue in 2020, a decline of 19.5% from the previous year, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission.

“People are getting back out,” Mr. Miller said. “They are traveling. They are getting back to enjoying life.”

Last year’s strong performance at casinos has carried into this year. Gamblers spent $8.19 billion on slot machines during the first quarter, a 19% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the AGA. Table games brought in $2.38 billion for casinos, a 43% jump.

Revenue from sports and internet betting is also growing rapidly.

Sports betting operators like DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Group have spent billions of dollars to promote their brands in the new industry.

Sports betting revenue rose 65% to $1.58 billion in the first quarter, the AGA said, while internet wagers contributed $1.21 billion in revenue, a 54% increase.

First-quarter revenue rose in nearly every commercial gambling jurisdiction, according to the AGA. Arkansas, Florida and New York set quarterly revenue records. Only Washington, D.C., posted a decline, while Kansas was roughly flat.

Las Vegas, the number one casino market in the U.S., recorded strong revenue growth.

MGM Resorts International reported that Las Vegas Strip casino revenue doubled to $475 million during the first quarter, while Wynn Resorts Ltd. reported a 55.5% increase in Las Vegas casino revenue, to $124.3 million.

“The results demonstrate the robust demand for our gaming entertainment offerings with the backdrop of increased sports and entertainment programming in the Las Vegas market,” Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive of MGM Resorts International, said in an earnings statement last week. MGM declined to comment further Wednesday.

Wynn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Business and international travel, as well as conventions and trade shows, still haven’t fully recovered from the pandemic, according to Mr. Miller.

As that improves, casinos could see more business in the future, he said.

Gamblers over the age of 55 also haven’t returned to casinos in the same numbers as years past, Mr. Miller said.

“As that group of individuals feels more and more comfortable getting out, that will even further strengthen an already strong hand that we have for 2022,” he said.

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