LAS VEGAS – The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) newly launched Gaming CEO Outlook shows confidence in expanded industry growth, with almost half of AGA-member CEOs expecting improved business conditions into 2022. Participating CEO positivity is driven by anticipated increases in new hiring (71%), wage growth (63%), and capital investment (39%).
“AGA’s inaugural Gaming CEO Outlook reflects the strength of our recovery and consumer demand for our world-class entertainment offerings,” said Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO. “The promising outlook is built on our innovation, but like many industries, supply chain and worker shortages continue to slow our full recovery.”
While the overall outlook is positive, challenges remain. More than two-thirds (71%) of CEO respondents cited supply chain issues as a factor limiting operations. Labor force shortages (63%), consumer health concerns (46%), and lagging meetings and events demand (38%) are also widely cited as impeding short-term growth.
The Gaming CEO Outlook, prepared for the AGA by Oxford Economics, provides a snapshot of the current and future economic health of the industry based on executive sentiment, employment, casino visitation plans, gaming revenue, and other key economic indicators. The results are informed by a survey of AGA member CEOs and executives representing equipment suppliers, casinos operators, and sportsbooks.
“We are a more resilient industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aristocrat Technologies CEO and AGA Chairman Trevor Croker. “As the gaming industry looks to 2022 and beyond, our impressive recovery will continue to create jobs, support communities, and generate needed taxes.”
The Gaming CEO Outlook includes two separate indices, the Current Conditions Index and the Future Conditions Index—both of which reflect strong business conditions.
Current Gaming Conditions
The Current Conditions Index of 115.1 reflects exceptionally strong growth in gaming revenue, employment, and employee wages and salaries over the past quarter. This represents one of the fastest periods of growth in the industry over the past 20 years. Notably, all CEO panel participants assessed the current gaming business climate as “good” (54%) or “satisfactory” (46%).
Looking Ahead: Expansion Continues
The Future Conditions Index, which provides a leading indicator of changes in industry conditions, also shows positive results at 102.7. Nearly half of gaming executives expect future business conditions to further improve from today’s already strong climate, and just nine percent expect conditions to deteriorate over the next six months.
Among gaming operators, half plan to increase hotel and food and beverage amenities, while 43 percent plan to increase capital investments in gaming machines.
Gaming suppliers are also optimistic: over the next six months, 75 percent expect sales of gaming units for replacement use to increase and 63 percent expect sales of new units to improve.
The gaming industry’s recovery, including a record-breaking second quarter, is well underway and current executive sentiment points to a robust end of the year and strong start to 2022.
Miller will deliver his annual State of the Industry update today at 11:45 ET/8:45 PT to kick off Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2021—the premier event for commercial and tribal gaming professionals.
“Our industry’s return to Las Vegas for G2E is a milestone in our recovery,” Miller said. “G2E 2021 is providing an essential platform for gaming leaders to highlight their latest products, conduct business, and drive our recovery forward.”
About the Outlook
The Gaming Industry Outlook is prepared on the behalf of the American Gaming Association by Oxford Economics. It provides a timely measure of recent growth and future expectations. The Q3 2021 release is the first release of the index, with a planned bi-annual release schedule moving forward. As additional data become available, particularly for the Gaming Executive Panel, the Gaming Industry Outlook will be further refined.
The Q3 2021 survey was conducted between August 16 and September 14, 2021. A total of 24 executives responded, including executives at the major international and domestic gaming companies, tribal gaming operators, single unit casino operators, major gaming equipment suppliers, and major iGaming and/or sports betting operators.