US Gambling is recovering at a faster pace than expected, and the latest news confirms that. Commercial gambling brought in $13.6 billion in Q2, a new record. The previous record was set in Q3 2019, when $11.1 billion were earned.
Looking back to pre-pandemic times, 2019 was the best year for gambling. The industry’s revenue equaled $43.6 billion that year, and according to the American Gambling Association, this year is on its way to break that record.
This year, the states have generated $25 billion in revenue so far. In contrast, 2020 saw $30 billion for the entire year. This year, 22 out of 25 states with casinos show stronger numbers than they did during the same quarter in 2019.
Nevada leads the way in Q2, with $3.46 billion in revenue, up 17% from Q2 2019, making it the biggest quarter in the state’s history. To compare, Nevada earned $7.87 billion in the entire 2020.
Pennsylvania came in second, earning $1.21 billion, up by a staggering 44.6% from Q2 2019, while New Jersey ranked third, with $1.11 billion, up 35.5%.
Brick and mortar casinos were responsible for $11.8 billion of the entire revenue, up by almost 10% from the Q3 2019, the previous highest quarter. About 75% of the casinos started the quarter with 50% or less capacity.
IGaming, legal in six states, earned $901 million in Q2, up by 15% from Q1. Year-to-date iGaming has brought in $1.66 billion, which has already surpassed 2020’s entire revenue of $1.55 billion.
Moreover, sports betting brought in $889 million, down from Q1 by 7.5% (March Madness contributed to Q1’s numbers.)
Sports betting has been expanding since 2018, when the Supreme Court legalized it, being live in 22 states, ten of which launched it in Q2 2019. That resulted in an increase of almost 650% from Q2 2019. Q3 is expected to be even better, with football season starting in September.
Covid-19 is still threatening the industry and potential Q3 numbers. Nevada reintroduced mask mandates, and other states are expected to follow. On top of that, international travel and business conferences are still not close to 2019 levels.