AGA Reports $9bn In U.S Gross Gaming Revenues In Third Quarter
The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new report which showed that gaming revenues in the United States surpassed $9 billion for the third quarter. This is a 19 percent decline when compared to the third quarter last year but it is still impressive given the havoc that COVID-19 has caused to the U.S gambling industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic crippled land based gambling operations throughout the country. While the 19 percent decline is a significant decline, it is still a 294 percent increase when compared to the second quarter of 2020 when all land based casinos were closed.
The third quarter is betting as the majority of land based and tribal casinos have resumed operations.
However, gaming analysts warn that the fourth quarter for 2020 may not look very positive as a number of states are experiencing a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases and have once again forced their casinos to shut down. Some of the states that are going into a second lockdown include New Mexico, Michigan, New York and Colorado.
The initial lockdown saw the closure of more than 1,000 land based casinos spread across 43 states. This has resulted in a 36.5 percent decline in gaming revenues when you look at the first three quarters for 2020.
AGA Calls For Congressional Relief
The AGA has reminded legislators in Washington that the U.S casino industry has been battered due to COVID-19 and a second lockdown will further cripple the industry. The AGA is asking Congress to provide a COVID-19 financial assistance package to casino operators to help them sustain their employees and the gaming community at large.
The AGA said it would continue to put pressure on Washington to provide financial assistance to casino operators as the finances could be used to retain employees, help with new hiring plans, support tribal casinos and help kick-start the tourism and travel industry.
The main contributors for the boost in third quarter revenues happen to be sports betting and online gaming. Sports betting ended up contributing a whopping $5.9 billion as multiple sporting leagues including the NBA and NFL hosted games during the third quarter. Online gambling was responsible for generating $435 million which is an 8 percent increase from the second quarter of 2020.
The biggest challenge that the US gaming industry is facing is the uncertainty brought about due to COVID. There is no indication as of now as to whether Congress will give out a relief package to casino operators.