For decades, the casino industry has been one of the major contributors to the Illinois economy. However, things have changed; as from 2012 to 2022, the same industry saw a $200 million decline, according to data from the Illinois Gaming Board.

Reasons for falling profits:

Among the reasons for the mentioned decline, one of the main reasons for the decline is the emergence of more types of gambling. This reason was given because various types of gambling weren’t accessible to Illinois residents in 2012.

One example of this is that video gaming terminals nearly doubled from a profit of $395 million in 2019 to $762 million in 2022.

Furthermore, they permit players to wager on video poker and slot machines at local bars and restaurants, offering a more affordable and convenient experience than a casino.

Another example is sports wagering; as it rapidly gained popularity, slightly reducing casino revenue from $142 million to $140 million in 2022.

The casino industry still brings most of the gambling profits to Chicago:

However, the casino industry is still is a large contributor to Chicago’s economy.

In this regard, the city recently decided that Bally’s will officially open a new casino in the River West neighborhood, and the temporary Bally’s casino at Medinah Temple is awaiting official approval to officially open this summer.

Looking at profits, Bally’s casino could provide up to $200 million in income for the city. However, the money is earmarked for emergency service pensions. What is discouraging is that casino taxes are nothing compared to the city’s $48 billion in unfunded pension debt.

Still, Chicago may be able to include video gaming income, but that would require the city to officially legalize video gambling machines, according to Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson.

On that note, the statement from Johnson’ spokesman says that he “is a supporter of legalized video gambling as an important revenue source for critical investments in public safety, transportation, housing and other public accommodations.” 

Top gaming revenue in 2022:

All in all, gaming income in Illinois reached almost $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2022, an all-time high and up 39% compared to 2021.

However, the biggest single source of gaming income was the lottery, which collected $833 million, 44.2% of the total. But, video gaming is now a close second source of income, with $762 million generated in fiscal 2022.

Furthermore, smaller amounts were generated from sports betting ($142 million), riverboat casinos ($140 million) and horse racing ($7 million).

Commenting on the largest ever revenue, Keith Horton, general manager of Camelot Illinois, the state’s lottery contractor, said: “Online lottery play is an integral and growing segment of the Illinois Lottery’s offering. Regular technology updates to the online platform improve the player experience and have helped drive growth over the past few years.”