Adams Revenue Revue: A 4.56 percent increase nationally in May provides insight for 2018Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 11, 2018 at 5:01 pmNationwide gaming revenue grew 4.56 percent to nearly $3.56 billion in May, a “good barometer” for the rest of 2018, according to Reno-based gaming analyst and consultant Ken Adams.Writing in his monthly Adams Revenue Revue, which he produces for CDC Gaming Reports, Adams said the month provided the first “apples-to-apples” comparison when looking at 2018 versus 2017.Both months had the same number of weekend days. Except for one additional casino in New York and the continued growth of video lottery terminals in Illinois, Adams said “the gaming landscape is pretty much the same as it was in 2017.”He continued, “What is left is a solid national economy and the impact of new casinos.”Nationally, gaming revenue is up 2.81 percent to $17.58 billion for the first five months of the year.“All of the stars are in alignment in 2018 for the gaming industry, if one does not look to deeply into the individual jurisdiction,” Adams wrote in the report. “If one does, it’s clearly still a jungle out there, albeit a slowly-changing one.”Memorial Day Weekend “put a nice exclamation mark” on May, Adams added. National tourism officials predicted almost 300 million people would travel that weekend by either air or car. The AAA said the figure would be an increase of 5 percent over 2017.“Apparently more than a few those travelers found their way into casinos,” Adams said.As for individual states, Illinois gaming revenue grew 6.4 percent in May, reflective of its growing dependence on VLTs in bars, taverns, and other locations. Illinois had 28,958 VLT games at the end of May, 8.9 percent more than a year ago. VLT revenue grew 13.4 percent and Illinois casino revenue was up less than 1 percent. However, casino attendance was down more than 7 percent.In New York, combined gaming revenue from the state’s casinos and VLT market increased 8.7 percent. Adams said New York’s newest casino – Resorts World Catskills – was “underperforming.”Maryland, Adams said, is having “the best year of any state with casino gaming.” May revenues were up 14.7 percent with all six casinos reporting an increase, the first time that has happened since December 2016, following the opening of MGM National Harbor.Atlantic City gaming revenue fell 5.1 percent in May, a month before the opening of the Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean’s Resort – reboots of the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal and Revel. Adams said the market is still struggling due to out-of-state competition,He said the two new casinos should boost gaming revenues, but “the increase will be at the expense” of the seven existing casinos.“There is no white knight on the horizon for Atlantic City casinos,” Adams said.July’s numbers, he added, will include sports betting.“That may or may not turn out to be significant,” he said.Adams said the opening of the $960 million MGM Springfield at the end of August will change the Massachusetts landscape, and “will be added to the extenuating factors in the narrative for the rest of 2018.”CDC Gaming Reports distributes the Adams Revenue Revue to premium subscribers.Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.