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U.S. Commercial Casinos Have Third Straight Quarter With Record Revenue

American Non-Tribal Properties Won $13.89 Billion, Breaking The Record Set a Quarter Earlier

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The third quarter of 2021 was the best quarter in the history of the U.S. casino industry.

According to numbers released by the American Gaming Association, commercial casinos in the country set a quarterly record with $13.89 billion during the three-month period.

The market is on pace to demolish the annual gross gaming revenue record of $43.56 billion with non-tribal casinos generating just shy of $39 billion through the first nine months of the year. It’s the third straight quarter with the industry experiencing all-time highs following a $13.6 billion win in the second quarter and $11.1 billion during the first three months of 202.

“Two straight quarters of record gaming revenue is an incredible accomplishment in any content, let alone after the most challenging year in industry history,” said AGA president and CEO Bill Miller in a statement. “Our recovery is not a flash in the pan, but rather a sustained result of our leadership in responsible reopening, world-class entertainment offerings, and widespread favorability.”

The revenue generated by gamblers through the first three quarters of 2021 has already surpassed the total for 2020, which was plagued by government-mandated shutdowns of the casino industry in response to the pandemic.

As regional markets began to reopen, there were several CEOs claiming that the market would rebound because of pent-up demand stemming from gamblers and tourists staying home for several months. Clearly, at least some of the revenue surge is a result of that demand.

Jane Bokunewicz, the director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University in New Jersey, told the Associated Press that he agreed with those CEOs.

“After a year of restrictions and quarantines, people were anxious to get out and enjoy in-person experiences again,” said Bokunewicz. “The casino industry responded quickly to implement clean and safe protocols providing a welcoming environment to people seeking safe social activities.”

She also said that the growth of internet gaming in the wake of the pandemic also added to the record-setting period between July and September. Online gambling operators set a quarterly record by winning $938.6 million from gamblers.

A sharp increase in tourism also added to the industry’s explosive growth. Las Vegas, one of the nation’s biggest gambling markets and most dependent on tourists, saw a 10% increase in tourism in the third quarter compared to the second with 9.2 million people visiting Sin City.

The gambling hub of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Strip, set a quarterly record as well with its casinos reporting $2.06 billion in earnings. Nevada as a whole also reported all-time high revenues, as did New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the four largest casino markets in the U.S. 10 of the 25 states with commercial casinos experienced the same.

In a year that has seen sports betting blow up, that specific sector of the gambling world witnessed quarterly low. U.S. sportsbooks reported $886.5 million in revenue thanks to a low volume of sporting events on the calendar between July and September.