Illinois Casinos Start 2023 With Big Increase From Year Earlier

Illinois Casinos Start 2023 With Big Increase From Year Earlier
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Illinois casino revenue in January from the state’s 11 casinos was $112.6 million, down 1.6% from December 2022 but well ahead of the way last year started.

And this news comes amid a new effort to make Illinois online casino options legal and regulated, plus a record period for the state’s sportsbooks.

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Illinois January Casino Revenue Breakdown

Compared to the same month a year ago, January 2023 was a substantial increase. The $112.6 million was a jump of 28.3% over January 2022 ($87.77 million).

On the casino floors, the sources of the January revenue – a total of $112,615,688, to be exact – were $84.3 million primarily from slot machines (technically referred to as electronic gaming devices, or EGDs) and $28.3 million from table games.

Among casinos, Rivers Casino in des Plaines, the state’s largest with 78,500 square feet, was the runaway leader with nearly $45.6 million in revenue, a drop of about $1.6 million from the facility’s December Illinois casino revenue total.

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin was No.2 with nearly $12 million in revenue. And in third place was Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel in Joliet with $10.77 million in revenue.

The rest of the state’s casinos revenues were (alphabetically): Argosy, $2.8 million; Bally's Quad Cities Casino & Hotel, $4.6 million; DraftKings at Casino Queen, $6.4 million; Hard Rock in Rockford, about $5 million; Harrah's Metropolis Casino, $5.2 million; Hollywood Casino Aurora, $8 million; Hollywood Casino Joliet, $7.4 million, and Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, nearly $5 million.

As far as tax allocations were concerned for January 2023, the state share was $12.9 million and the local share was a little more than $6.4 million.

Illinois iGaming Proposals Introduced

This week, two Illinois iGaming proposals were introduced in the state legislature.

Two Democratic lawmakers put online casino bills forward – state Sen. Cristina Castro (Elgin) and Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (Chicago) – but they might have a long way to go in a state where similar ideas have stalled out before.

If the legislation were to pass, a 15% tax would be imposed on operators of online games such as roulette, slots, or card games.

As for Illinois sports betting, the handle topped $1 billion for the third month in a row in December. Sportsbook figures are reported about a month after land-based casino revenue is posted.

The revenue from sports betting was over $82 million in December but, in states with both iGaming and sports wagering, the online casino options have proven to be more lucrative and less volatile streams of tax revenue.

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Bill Ordine covers state gambling issues for He was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years.

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