Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Rocky Road for Casino Recovery

Vinny Kumar
July 22, 2021
Rocky Road for Casino Recovery

Casinos took a major hit during the pandemic as indoor recreational activities temporarily shut down to halt the spread of the virus. Now, with most restrictions lifted, the industry is coming back to life – but the overall pace of recovery for US public gaming companies has been choppier than for other sectors. 

We dove into national and regional foot traffic trends for Boyd Gaming, Bally’s Corporation, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Red Rock Resorts, Penn National Gaming, and Wynn Resorts to see how this sector is performing through the reopening. 

Casinos’ Staggered Recovery 

Overall monthly foot traffic has been improving, with nationwide visits down just 10.2% in June 2021 compared to June 2019, up from a 32.5% decline just a few months earlier in March 2021. Las Vegas fully reopened June 1st, and the Vegas Strip properties have experienced a remarkable turnaround.

But in some regions, the recovery appears to be more erratic. For example, Atlantic City, a major gaming hub which had fully reopened in mid-May, actually observed weaker traffic in June (-22.9%) compared to May (-20.1%). The drop in June visits might suggest that the initial excitement over the casino reopenings did not continue – though the summer could provide a significant boost. The Southeast and Northeast also seem to be facing choppier recoveries, while the Southwest casinos are performing comparatively well. 

The casino recovery in the Southeast region (primarily Mississippi and Louisiana) experienced the biggest setback over Q2, with the visit gap widening from -19.3% in April to -26.9% in June. Although this region generally performed better than others during the pandemic due to looser COVID restrictions, the foot traffic recovery appears to be losing momentum. It should be noted, however, that although visits decreased, revenue trends have outpaced foot traffic, driven by longer visit duration and higher table drop. But the foot traffic weakness still bears monitoring, as revenue growth could soon stall if visits remain low while visit length and table drops return to pre-pandemic levels.

What Happens on the Vegas Strip Stays on the Vegas Strip 

As people sheltered in place and the tourism industry shut down, casinos in Las Vegas took a major hit, with March visits down -37.1% compared to March 2019. Now, the Vegas recovery seems to be driven primarily by visits to the Vegas strip, with these properties significantly outperforming off-strip and local casinos. 

In fact, visits to Strip properties were actually positive compared to 2019 in June, indicating a sharp rebound. This is likely driven by consumer excitement over destination air travel, a key difference when compared to Atlantic City. In contrast, the off-strip casinos appear to be performing similarly to casinos in other regions, suggesting that the local economies are not seeing the same level of rebound.

The Vegas strip recovery could be driven by both regional and national tourists who are flocking to Vegas for vacations. As a result, integrated resorts such as those owned by MGM and Caesars are better positioned to benefit from this trend. In contrast, regional operators such as Red Rock Resorts, Penn National Gaming, and Boyd Gaming, whose properties are located primarily off-strip and cater more to locals, are noticeably not matching those performances. 

Will Atlantic City make a comeback? Will off-strip properties in Vegas recover? 

Visit to find out.  

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024? White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy Mall Index: February 2024 Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024:’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap