Jay Sarno

National Gaming Results

May 2018 was up to last year.

As compared to last year, the calendar shows losing a Monday and gaining a Thursday which would equate to non-effect. For May 2018 vs May 2017, nationwide shows 84% of states gaining and for same comparative period, revenue was up +2.9%. Keep in mind that in May, NV posted a significant gain to prior year and that KS and NY (all with new property’s) and OK (expanded to 24-hour gaming) are a significant portion of these gains and if were not in the figures, the results would have been a smaller gain.

2018 National Gaming Growth Forecast

The drivers for the casino gaming industry: employment, income and to a lesser extent gas prices. We find these are in weak to moderate growth position although we see gas prices recovering from the hurricanes and rising. However, with inflation tracking at +2% to +3% there is little “real” wage/income growth.

  • Our 2016 and 2017 gaming forecast range were for growth of between +1% to +3%.
  • Our 2018 forecast is:

Initially we are seeing much of the same in 2018 as in 2017 with total growth perhaps slightly higher and in the +2% to +4% range as the level of core inflation of offsets combined gains in income levels and population.

Additionally, for 2018, another hurdle for the casino industry will be trying to grow above inflation in successive years which is often a difficulty for any mature industry.

Recent News/Trends:

New York – The fourth of four full casinos, Resorts World Catskills opened. Jakes 58 also opened on Long Island. The majority of the legacy VLT properties within the new casino regions are showing declines largely due to the opening of the new casinos.

Maryland has been generally growing faster than the US market prior to 2017. May 2018 showed MD gaining +15% and generating a record month.

Oklahoma (race tracks): As of July 2017, rules changes allow for 24/7 gaming whereas prior to July 2017 gaming was for 18 hours per day. Since the change, OK revenue has been averaging $11 million per month versus the prior historical average of $9.5 million per month.

Illinois casino revenue is showing a significant year-to-date decrease. IN many cases, this decline is trackable to VLTs that are increasing throughout the state. Most of the Midwest is showing year-to-date declines, but not as steeply as Illinois.

Figure 1: Number of States Gaining, recent month to same month last year. 84% of the states are reporting gains for May 2018.

Table 2: Recent month to same month last year.

Jay Sarno has 20+ years of experience in the Hospitality and Gaming Industry. Jay consults on casino marketing segmentation programs, software product development and technology solutions evaluations, selections and implementations. Jay has implemented over 20 data warehouse systems and currently also teaches courses in Hospitality Management for Richard Stockton College of NJ. Jay can be reached at JSA2002@comcast.net and welcomes your comments and questions.

Note: JSA calculates monthly trends in adjusted total win for all states. We use adjusted total win for a variety of reasons but mostly to provide a consistent basis. Many states report combined slot and table revenue and our reporting reflects same. Some states separate slot and table win and where this occurs we report the combined total. The exceptions to the separate slot and table win are NJ and NV where table revenue is a large component of total win and often generates very volatile results. So for better picture of the overall market for NJ and NV results, slot revenue is reported.