AGA August tracker sees fourth straight month of US gaming recovery

The American Gaming Association has recorded a positive travel of direction in its August Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker report which documents the ongoing health status of the US gaming sector.

Key among the findings was the welcome news that August marked the fourth straight month of gaming’s recovery, with nationwide revenue up 5.6% from July. And appetite for a sporting wager was clearly strong, with a crowded sports calendar leading Americans to legally bet $2.1bn during the month, representing the largest monthly handle in US sports betting history.

That record handle was converted into $119.4m worth of revenue, achieving the second highest grossing month ever. But while those figures make for encouraging reading, the AGA warned that the path to a full recovery remains long with August’s revenue down 19.8% year-on-year.

Several states saw more money wagered on sports in August than in any previous month, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Jersey. The Garden State’s sportsbooks accepted $668m in bets in August – the largest monthly handle ever recorded in any state.

National sports betting revenue is up 31.5% in the first seven months of 2020, compared to the same period last year; the total amount wagered rose 24.1%.

Eight commercial casinos reopened in August, including three casinos in Detroit, MI (8/5), four properties in Miami-Dade County, FL (8/31), and one casino on the Las Vegas Strip (8/27). The four casinos in Lake Charles, LA re-closed on August 25 in preparation of Hurricane Laura, leaving 46 commercial casinos still shuttered at month’s end.

Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania saw year-over-year gaming revenue gains for a second consecutive month, while South Dakota has now seen revenue grow in each of the past three months. Ohio casinos set an all-time record for August with $172.1m in gaming revenue.

Nine states showed signs of continued recovery in August, with reduced year-on-year revenue declines compared to July. Eight states reported gaming revenue approaching last year’s level, despite continuing to operate with limited capacity, game availability, and non-gaming amenities.

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