July was a month to remember in Sin City. The state of Nevada wheeled in $794 million from Vegas casinos alone, breaking all monthly revenue records. However, many still doubt that this is a sign of an explosive economic recovery, as fears over the Delta variant and rising COVID-19 cases grip the country.
Pandemic-induced slowdowns of in-person gambling activity had a devastating impact on brick-and-mortar casinos in the last year and a half. This does not mean that people gambled less, as online gambling soared during the height of the pandemic. The global online gambling market was worth $64.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $72.02 billion this year.
With the recent reopening of states, people flocked back to their favourite land-based casinos. Las Vegas, the legendary focal point of American gambling, was an especially popular destination. Nevada as a whole experienced a massive uptick in gambling activity, as gaming revenue reached $1.36 billion in July. This is the fifth consecutive month in which gambling revenue was over a billion dollars, representing a 33% year-over-year growth rate.
Meanwhile, the number of Las Vegas visitors jumped by 140% compared to last year. Aside from the general eagerness to visit casinos after lockdowns, another factor that contributed to impressive July earnings was the fact that the month had five weekends.
While some see this as an indicator of a broader economic recovery, others are more cautious. August has already generated less revenue, tempered by the start of the school year and a surge in COVID-19 cases. But for Colin Mansfield, an analyst from Fitch Ratings, the issue of recovery is not a question of if but when. He predicts that Las Vegas will fully recover in 2023.
American Casinos Experience Best Q2 in History with $13.6 Billion in Revenue
It’s not just Las Vegas or Nevada-based casinos that are seeing record revenue. All American gambling venues seem to be having a golden year. According to the American Gaming Association, US casinos took in $13.6 billion in Q2 2021, marking the best second quarter in history.
These numbers are paving the way for 2021 to become the best year on record for US gambling establishments, which have already generated $25 billion in revenue in the first half of the year. If the trend continues, this year should easily surpass 2019 ($43.6 billion) as the most profitable.