Jay Sarno

National Gaming Results

2019 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 however lower taxes have appeared to boost overall employment which translates into more available dollars.

Recent News / Trends

New Jersey: With Hard Rock-AC and Oceans opening for second full month, Casino Win for August increased 21% from the same month last year. About half the remaining properties in the AC market posted gains as the other half reported year-year declines in August.

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

Our 2018 forecast is in the 2% to 4% range.

Our 2019 forecast is preliminary at this stage: Initially we are seeing much of the same in 2019 as in 2018 with total growth perhaps slightly lower and in the +1% to +3% range as the level of core inflation of offsets combined gains in income levels and population.

Additionally, for 2019, 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.

New York: The fourth of four casinos, Resorts World Catskills opened. Jakes 58 also opened on Long Island and its GGR performance $16 million to $17 million each month appear to not have cannibalized Resorts World-NY and the Resorts World -OTB as their combined results are essentially flat. Most of the legacy VLT parlors in NY are showing declines largely due to the opening of the new NY casinos.

Maryland has been generally growing faster than the US market prior to 2017. August 2018 showed MD gaining 6%.

Oklahoma (race tracks): As of August 2017, rules changes allow for 24/7 gaming whereas prior to August 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 year-to-date decrease. Based on data available, much of this decline is trackable to VLTs that are increasing throughout the state of Illinois. Most of the Midwest is showing year-to-date flat to declines, but not as steeply declining as Illinois.

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.