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US gaming figures pointing towards industry rebound

Preliminary revenue turnover figures for March, published by two US states – Maryland and Ohio – are sending out clear indications that the gaming industry is on a rebound after the Covid-19 ‘crises

By Buck Wargo – SiGMA US correspondent

Visits to casinos are on a rapid upward trajectory together with spending per visit. More data should be coming out from other states in the coming days, possibly confirming this positive trend.

Maryland got the ball rolling last week, reporting revenues of $169.2 million last March from the state’s six casinos. The results were the best since the pandemic hit and the best since March 2019.

Jay Snowden CEO Penn National GamingMarch 2021 numbers were 146% higher than March 2020. Results for Ohio show the same trend, setting a record with a $215.9 million turnover, much higher than the $184.2 million registered in March 2019. According to Jay Snowden, the CEO of Penn National Gaming (seen left), prospects for the industry are promising.

Penn National has more than 40 properties across 19 US states and is planning to acquire a property in Maryland.

Last week, Snowden told the Nevada gaming regulator that regional markets across the country have “fought back on the gaming side of things” compared to destination markets like Las Vegas that are “still clawing back.”

He said that in March they had some of the strongest performance where it comes to visits and spending per guest.
“Business indicators right now are very strong across the country,” Snowden said.

“What we are seeing is guests coming back, with numbers becoming very close to the situation in 2019,” he said.

“Spending per visit is also a lot higher as is time per visit. People have been saving money over the last year and they have their stimulus payments. People are looking to have a good time after being locked up in their house with no place to go,” Snowden insisted.

Nevada, which is expected to release its new figures later this month is also expected to register an upward trend as activity in Las Vegas is booming.

According to Wall Street analysts, while figures are still far from pre-Covid days, there should be an upward surge.
“March is showing strong gains (from February and March 2020) and in many cases is reaching 2019 levels,” according to Barry Jonas, a Wall Street analyst with Truist Securities.

Jonas said that Las Vegas hotel bookings through May continue to increase from March as they have already in April.

As from the beginning of May, Las Vegas casinos will start operating at full capacity as well as open nightclubs and day-clubs with mask and social distancing restrictions in place.

According to Jonas, there are a lot of positive signs across the country that will show up in earnings reports for the first quarter.


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