Jay Sarno

National Gaming Results

February was down to last year.

As compared to last year the calendar shows flat. For February 2017 vs February 2016, nationwide shows less half of states gaining and for same comparative period, revenue was flat. Keep in mind that KS, OK and NY (all with new property’s) are a significant portion of these gains and if those were not in the figures, the results would have been a decline.

2017 National Gaming Growth Forecast

The drivers for the casino gaming industry: employment, income and gas prices are in weak to moderate growth position although we see gas prices recovering from the hurricanes and rising to around or under $2.50/gallon. However, with inflation tracking at +2% to +3% there is little “real” wage/income growth.

  • Our 2016 gaming forecast range was of growth of between +1% to +3%.
  • Our 2017 forecast is:

Initially we are seeing much of the same in 2017 as in 2016 with growth being in the +1% to +3% range as the level of core inflation of offsets combined gains in income
levels and population.

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

New York – The fourth of four full casinos, Resorts World – Mt Airy opened. Jakes 58 also opened on Long Island. The majority of the legacy VLT properties 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. February 2017 showed MD gaining +6% which is lower than previous growth but expected as MGM National Harbor has just passed being open for a full year.

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.

New Jersey: The likely reason for the decline was brutal winter storms and its feeder markets in NY and PA.

In 2015, prices peaked in Jul-15 and fell until Feb-16. In 2016 and through much of 2017, prices rose through winter/spring and declined in summer as is normal. In 2017, gasoline prices rose due to fall hurricanes are now tracking higher to their prior rates as it appears on the global markets, the price of gas is increasing as economies speed up.

Sources for all data are State Gaming reports and JSA research.

Figure 1: Number of States Gaining, recent month to same month last year 44% of the states are reporting gains for February 2018.
This is two consecutive months of more states losing versus gaining.

Table 1: National Gas Prices

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.