Illinois gambling industry closed out the 2017 fiscal year on 30th June, as video gambling gave a boost to the total state’s gaming revenue. According to new statistics from the state legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, Illinois enjoyed a record profit from video gambling, which accounted for $296 million of the state’s gambling market revenue during the most recent fiscal year. The figures revealed that Illinois casinos, on the other hand, earned just shy of $270 million revenue, suffering almost a decline of $7 million compared to the previous fiscal year.
Illinois’ video gambling division seems to be the fastest growing segment, outperforming even the traditional casino gambling. The record profit is a noteworthy achievement given the fact that the video gambling terminals were allowed to operate across the state in 2012. By the end of the 2017 fiscal year, there were 26,783 terminals spread over 6,124 business establishments within the state’s borders. According to a recent statistics from the Illinois Gaming Board, the number of the gambling devices soared to 27,681 located in 6,249 different establishments, including bars, restaurants, family hotels and others.
Casino operators and owners complained that the sharp increase in the number of the gambling devices has been hurting their operations for quite a while. The figures in the report also showed that only 2 casinos, including Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Hollywood Casino in Aurora, reported their revenue up in comparison to the last fiscal year. Casino operators and opponents to the video gambling terminals voiced yet another concern regarding the popularity of the gambling machines. They explained that the easy access is a good condition to stimulate people to gamble and develop gambling-related issues.
What Do the Figures Reveal
As aforementioned, total video gambling revenue soared to $296 million for the 2017 fiscal year. Compared to the 2016 fiscal year, the video gambling machines revenue jumped up to $44 million, or 17.5% increase, while the number of the gambling devises increased only with 12.5%. By contrast, the 10 operating casinos across the state generated a total revenue of $270 million, which presents a slide of $7 million in comparison to the 2016 fiscal year. Apart from that, the report found out that the admission $2-tax for casino visitors also plummeted with almost 6%, which equates to $1.5 million loss.
According to the report, Illinois gambling revenue totaled $1.31 billion in the 12 months ending on 30th June 2017, higher than 2016’s tally. It was estimated that lottery was the division to generate the highest revenue for the state, rising 8.5% to $738 million.