Despite a “devastating” 2020 for gaming, the industry appears to be on track for a record-breaking 2021, according to an American Gaming Association AGA executive.
According to Casey Clark, AGA’s senior vice president of strategic communications, the expansion of legal sports betting last year, the growth of igaming, and the industry’s strong showing in the first quarter of this year point to an impressive rebound for the industry. “2019 was a record year, and I believe 2021 will be even better,” he predicted.
Consumer spending on commercial gaming fell by nearly a third in 2019, according to the AGA’s annual “State of the States” report, released Thursday.
The AGA estimated that tribal casinos will lose around 25% of their revenue from last year’s revenue of $34.6 billion.
According to Clark, shutdowns caused by the pandemic cut commercial casino operating days by about 27% nationwide.
Moreover, a federal COVID-relief package allowed casinos to receive millions of dollars in aid. This indicates that gaming is gaining momentum across the country.
“It was a game-changer for us,” Clark said. “The relief package only not included us in every other package, but specifically excluded us. What we’ve seen is the mainstreaming of gaming as a valuable contributor to American communities. That’s where you start to see parity for us, not just in the hospitality industry, but in all businesses.”