With the fourth quarter of 2020 came the continued response to the COVID-19 health crisis and its effects on gaming markets worldwide. Results depicted declining revenue trends from major casino and resort operators. However, the recovery effort is underway as gross gaming revenue volumes continue to edge further from the floor experienced earlier in 2020. Domestic and foreign markets continued to move forward with reopening plans with health and safety protocols. While overall revenues were improving, decreased capacity limits and health and safety guidelines continue to limit the recovery from a monetary standpoint. The vaccination process has picked up pace in the U.S., and federal officials believe herd immunity can be reached by the end of summer with a return to general normality by the close of 2021 should 75 to 80 percent of Americans receive the vaccine.
With 2020 officially in the books, a number of the world’s largest publicly traded gaming operators reported their fourth quarter earnings and combined results for the year. Results were directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing operational restrictions that came with it. Major domestic markets all reported revenue declines ranging from 39.0 to 68.0 percent, while companies with operations in overseas markets, such as Macau, reported even sharper revenue dropoffs. Gross casino gaming revenue in Macau reached $7.6 billion during 2020, down 79.1 percent on the year, the lowest level witnessed since 2009 when gross gaming revenues totaled $15.0 billion. At the end of 2020, Nevada’s gross gaming revenues reached $7.9 billion, marking the first time annual gaming revenues fell below $8.0 billion since 1998. Gaming revenue in Nevada fell by 34.6 percent in 2020, the largest annual decline of all time.