For nearly two years now, it has been difficult to gauge the health of the gaming industry. Customers have returned and are spending more than ever, and demand for travel has also rebounded, but questions have remained. Are the revenue increases sustainable or are they a result of COVID, being fueled by temporary government stimulus programs and fewer entertainment options overall?
As we look toward the summer of 2022, a less volatile business environment is on the horizon, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Industry Outlook, presented in partnership with Fitch Ratings. The report, published biannually to provide a timely measure of the gaming industry’s economic outlook, shows industry growth returning to rates more reminiscent of pre-pandemic standards and macroeconomic issues replacing concerns related to COVID-19 as the biggest limiting factors on business.
Here are five key insights from AGA member CEOs on economic expectations for gaming over the next six months:
1. Executives say the present business situation is good, but fewer expect it to continue to improve—respondents describing the current situation as “good” is up 13 points from six months ago.
2. COVID-19 and demand for meetings and events are no longer among the top concerns for executives, who instead name macroeconomic trends as their most pressing business challenges.
3. Most executives believe the pace of wage increases will accelerate, while hiring and revenue growth are expected to slow.
4. Operators expect to focus their capital investments on hotels, F&B, sportsbooks and slots across the next two quarters.
5. Gaming suppliers almost universally expect unit sales to increase across segments.
In all, the report points to the beginning of a new era for gaming—with less volatile revenue fluctuations and free of major COVID-driven business limitations. Keep track of the industry’s progress with the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker and industry-leading research.