- The American Gaming Association claims that casinos have taken in $13.6 billion in Q2 2021.
- This puts the industry on track to shatter profit records set before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- There is a risk of further shutdowns due to the highly contagious Delta Variant of COVID-19, as well as reductions in mask mandates and populations that refuse to be vaccinated.
LAS VEGAS - America’s casinos had their best second quarter in history. According to the American Gaming Association, casinos took in $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021.
The previous yearly high for casino revenue was $43.6 billion in 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2020 gambling markets.
If the casinos keep taking in money at this rate, there could be a total revenue of more than $50 billion by the end of the year.
The major question remaining is whether or not the casinos will be able to keep taking in money at this rate amid fears of the Delta Variant of COVID-19, which accounts for the majority of new cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Also, it is regarded as more contagious than baseline COVID-19, with the CDC comparing it to chicken pox in an internal document.
Still, in the 25 states that have commercial casinos, there are no capacity restrictions.
This could change if the situation with COVID-19 worsens, especially with the Delta Variant on the loose, and mask mandates being lifted in some locations.
While online and mobile gambling boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems a poor replacement for the revenue taken in at physical casinos. During the second quarter of 2021, internet gambling accounted for $901 million in revenue, which was a new quarterly record.
This is obviously not enough to keep the casinos on track for their projected record profits, and further shutdowns could limit what could be a record breaking year.
Still, it seems clear that the casino industry has come out of the shutdowns stronger than ever - and could likely do so again in the event of a second shutdown due to the Delta Variant.