AGA Corner: State of States

The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impact on the gaming industry in 2020, causing a 31 percent drop in commercial gaming revenue and a significant shakeup in the top 20 casino markets. But while COVID overwhelmed traditional gaming sectors, the industry experienced monumental growth in emerging verticals like sports betting and iGaming. All last year’s shifts in the commercial gaming landscape at both the state and national levels are covered in detail in the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) State of the States 2020: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry.

Highlights from the 2020 report include:

  • 2020 marked the industry’s lowest total revenue since 2003, with consumer spending on commercial gaming falling to $29.98 billion, down 31 percent from 2019.
  • All 25 states with physical commercial casino gaming reported lower revenue than in 2019.
  • The Baltimore-Washington, D.C. gaming market is now the third largest in the country, passing Chicagoland, with the Gulf Coast, St. Louis and Shreveport/Bossier City markets also jumping several spots in the top 20 rankings.

In a survey conducted in April 2020, AGA member company executives, including commercial and tribal operator and supplier CEOs and CFOs, estimated a revenue decline of slightly more than 40 percent in 2020, and a timetable for recovery of up to two years. Q1 2021’s gaming revenue numbers tied for the highest-grossing quarterly total ever, suggesting a quicker recovery than anticipated.

Click here to view the full report.

About the Report

AGA’s annual State of the States report details the commercial gaming industry’s financial performance, including analyses of each of the 29 states and the District of Columbia that had commercial gaming operations in 2020. The report, developed with VIXIO GamblingCompliance, also provides a breakdown of the legality of types of gaming and number of casinos by state, summarizes major gaming policy discussions, and previews opportunities and challenges for the industry. The companion State of Play map provides the report findings in an easy-to-use, interactive tool.