HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 27Issue 16NCLGS Examines the State of the Industry and Future for Land-Based Expansion

On May 6, 2021, the National Council of Legislators of Gaming States held a webinar program entitled: “Land Based Gaming: Still Expanding.”  The program was moderated by Keith Pickard, NCLGS President and Nevada Senator.   The program looked at the expansion of land-based gaming and examined where is the expansion taking place, and how is this trend evolving. 

Howard Glaser, Scientific Games, Global Head of Government Affairs and Special Initiatives presented information that looked at 1) post-pandemic resilience; 2) state government arguments for additional expansion and 3) the outline for historic expansion and reinvestment by the industry.

With respect to data looking at what the forecast is for the industry in a post-pandemic environment, Mr. Glaser highlighted early results in several states.  For example, he noted that in Pennsylvania monthly gross gaming revenues are up 25% over pre-pandemic numbers, and in Indiana four of five casinos beat pre-pandemic performance for the month of March.  

Mr. Glaser noted that the industry is set for a historic period of expansion with the following areas of specific significance:

Illinois will be adding six new casinos and slots at racetracks via the 2019 gaming bills;

Florida has entered a new compact that will see the Seminole Tribe build three more casinos;

Virginia is moving forward with the identification of up to five new projects across the state; and Nebraska; Alabama; Indiana; New York; North Carolina have expansion plans in the works and it appears that Texas may able be entering the mix in the near future.

Mr. Glaser noted that Texas is a great example of a jurisdiction that has seen an in interest legalizing mobile sports wagering and how that has helped state officials see the benefits of embracing the integration of the digital experience with the traditional bricks and mortar industry.   Mr. Glaser noted that the economic data does not support the premise that as the industry expands into online/mobile gaming the traditional land based industry is adversely impacted and capital investment is being lost.

Outside of new market growth, Mr. Glaser noted that the industry is also reinvesting in the traditional land-based inventory at a record pace.   Caesars is investing $400 million in Atlantic City; Bally’s/Twin River is investing $100s of millions in Las Vegas and across its regional properties. 

Importantly, Mr. Glaser noted that the legislative and regulatory partners that support the legal and regulated gaming industry need to help in stamping out illegal and gray market gaming as these offerings directly impact businesses that invest capital to support land-based casino jobs, as well as the tax revenues that are returned to communities across the United States. 

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