Illinois Casinos End 2021 on High Note with December Increase

Illinois Casinos End 2021 on High Note with December Increase

The revenue at Illinois casinos spiked in the final month of 2021, with December marking a 5.6% increase over November.

December revenue was $109,807,611 in December, a rise of almost $6 million from the $103,962,512 reported in November.

Of the December total adjusted gross receipts (AGR), $80.4 million came from electronic gaming devices and $29.4 million was derived from table games. November’s numbers indicated that $77.3 million came from EGDs and $26.7 million from table games.

That December total was the second-best figure of 2021 and the state’s highest since July, when the casinos combined for $120.2 million in revenue, as reported by the Illinois Gaming Board.

The state share of taxes for the month came to $29.9 million and the local share for the various municipalities added up to $6.2 million.

Illinois Casino Revenue for 2021 Exceeds $1 Billion

For the year, the state’s 11 commercial casinos reported nearly $1.2 billion in combined AGR, producing a state share in taxes of nearly $250 million.

That was a slight dip from 2019, when the state reported $1.35 billion in revenue from what was then a list of 10 casinos.

The comparison to 2019 numbers is more relevant than those from 2020 because COVID-19 protocols affected Illinois casinos as well as sports facilities and many other businesses across the country. In 2020, Illinois casinos combined for just $367.3 million in AGR.

Even in 2021, the state’s casinos were still recovering from the restrictions brought about by measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In January, the revenue was only $26.2 million.

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Illinois Casino Revenue Breakdown

As usual, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines led the state in AGR by a fair distance. Rivers is the largest casino in the state at 43,687 square feet and usually has about three times the number of admissions and revenue each month of any other Illinois casino.

In December, Rivers drew about $43 million in revenue, derived from about $25 million in EGDs and $18 million in table games.

The second-highest number was at Grand Victoria in Elgin, with $12.91 million in December revenue. Next up was Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel at $11.09 million.

State’s 11th Casino Has First Full Month

December was the first full month for the newest gaming facility in Illinois, the Hard Rock Casino in Rockford.

The temporary facility was originally slated to launch in October but wound up opening its doors on Nov. 9. Plans are already under way for a permanent casino in Rockford, scheduled to open in two years.

For December, Hard Rock’s first full month in Rockford produced $4.3 million in revenue from EGDs, the only gaming option there (the casino hasn’t opened any table games).



Jim Tomlin is a writer and editor for He has been a journalist for 30 years, with experience at publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, Saturday Tradition, Saturday Down South and FanRag.

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