Casinos Are Making a Killing
As the Pandemic Wanes, Casinos Gain Traction
For much of the COVID-19 pandemic people stayed home, shunning elective outings for leisure and moving work activities online. The travel and hospitality industries suffered as reduced demand decimated their bottom lines. Hotels and places like Las Vegas suffered a one-two punch as they lost both business customers and vacationers.
The casino industry saw 2020 revenue plummet 31% from the prior year to $30 billion, its lowest level in nearly 20 years. The beginning of a recovery in the gambling sector didn’t take long to manifest and in 2021 the industry saw revenues move back up, reaching $53.03 billion for the year.
This year the industry is on fire. March brought in record-breaking revenues of $5.31 billion, which doesn’t include the 248 tribal-run casinos that haven’t yet reported their results. For the quarter, gambling revenue came in at $14.31 billion. Slot machines brought in the bulk of the sales, but table games and sports betting posted the highest growth rates.
Executives Bet on Increasing Demand
MGM Chief Executive Bill Hornbuckle cited sports and entertainment programming as a key driver of demand in gambling activities. This may be an indication that billion-dollar marketing campaigns by sports-betting operators DraftKings (DKNG) and FanDuel could be starting to pay off.
Some market observers believe the rebound still has a lot of runway. As businesses return to in-person conventions and trade shows, casinos expect to see foot traffic increase. Also of note, the 55-and-up crowd hasn’t shown up in previously seen numbers. Their return to the casinos is expected to add to the bottom line. As Americans emerge from the pandemic’s shadow, it seems the gambling industry could be poised to reap the rewards.
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