AGA Survey: Industry Executives Positive on Gaming Outlook

The American Gaming Association’s annual Gaming Industry Outlook survey of gaming executives shows that top officials remain positive on the prospects of the industry, despite looming economic problems.

AGA Survey: Industry Executives Positive on Gaming Outlook

The majority of gaming executives report a positive view of current business conditions, while economic uncertainty is tempering future industry growth expectations, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Industry Outlook, which includes a survey of 26 executives (the “Gaming Executive Panel”). The study is presented in partnership with Fitch Ratings.

Overall, nearly every gaming executive surveyed characterizes the current business situation as good (62 percent) or satisfactory (35 percent). However, panel participants report a more cautious outlook moving forward, with only 20 percent expecting future conditions to be better than today and two-thirds (64 percent) expecting future conditions to be the same.

“Gaming’s record momentum has continued into 2023, and that is clearly reflected by the attitudes of gaming executives around the country,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “While projections of slowing growth across the American economy are muting expectations for gaming in the medium term, our industry is well-positioned to weather any potential headwinds.”

The report’s Current Conditions Index of 106.0 shows strong growth in casino gaming-related economic activity in Q1 2023 relative to Q4 2022, the commercial gaming industry’s highest-grossing quarter to date. Over the last three quarters, industry activity has been expanding at an annualized pace of approximately 8.4 percent, reflecting real underlying growth, controlled for the effects of inflation. Comparatively, the national U.S. economy grew 2.9 percent over the last two quarters of 2022, the most recently available quarterly data.

The Future Conditions Index decelerated to 97.1 in Q1 2023, indicating annualized industry economic activity is expected to decrease moderately over the next six months.

“This is partially driven by Gaming Executive Panel results—which remain positive but have softened relative to six months ago—as well as the current Oxford Economics forecast which predicts the U.S. economy will experience mild recession in the second half of 2023,” the AGA report said.

Results from the Gaming Executive Panel show more cautious attitudes for growth over the next six months, with a greater share of executives expecting the pace of new employee hiring, revenue growth and customer activity to decrease over the next three to six months than to increase. Competition for current employees also continues to be a challenge, with talent retention cited as another area of concern by the panel.

Operators and suppliers both express optimism across certain segments of their businesses:

  • More operators expect capital investment (21 percent net positive) and gaming units in operation (14 percent net positive) to increase over the next three to six months than decrease.
  • Gaming equipment manufacturers are particularly positive, with almost all supplier executives expecting sales of gaming units for replacement use to increase (88 percent net positive) and most expecting units for new or expansion use to increase (63 percent net positive). No gaming manufacturer expected the pace of sales to decrease.

Concerns around interest rates and inflation (cited by 69 percent of respondents) and economic uncertainty (38 percent) remain top concerns for industry executives. Meanwhile, supply chain delays have fallen out of the top five concerns of executives, replaced with geopolitical risk (31 percent). Concerns around availability of credit have also eased in the past six months, with the share of executives reporting access to credit as tight (20 percent) equally balanced by the share that view it as easy (20 percent).