Wed, 23 Jun 2021

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey: America's casinos announced that they had matched their best-ever earnings during the first quarter of 2021.

Officials said they were reassured that in spite of the Covid pandemic, the gambling public is returning to the nation's casinos.

Figures released by the American Gaming Association indicate that casinos took in over $11 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

That tied the former quarterly record set in 2019.

Additionally, 12 states reported their highest-ever levels of monthly gambling revenue in March 2021.

Gambling revenues for the 2021 first-quarter increased nearly 18 percent over the first quarter of 2020, as the pandemic began to take hold throughout the United States.

"Today's report shows gaming's comeback is ahead of schedule," said Bill Miller, the association's president and CEO. "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry has faced numerous challenges head-on.The gaming industry is generating these impressive results with one hand tied behind our back, as capacity and amenity restrictions remain across the country."

Of note, the record setting revenues occurred, even as 75 percent of the nation's casinos maintained limited occupancy of 50 percent.

"I do think we're seeing more and more people feeling more comfortable coming out," said Terry Glebocki, CEO of the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. "There's a ton of pent-up demand out there. People want to go out and have fun, and that's what you do at a casino."

Also, Callie Driehorst of MGM Resorts International noted, "We've seen significant progress since the start of the year in COVID trends, vaccinations, consumer sentiment and state-by-state operating restrictions. It's been exciting to see our domestic business improve significantly, and to play a role in the industry's recovery. As business trends continue to improve, we'll continue to position our business for long-term, sustainable growth."

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