Revenue from casinos in Illinois is declining, but a new bill could change the gambling industry’s fortunes.
Revenues from Illinois’ 10 casinos have been sliding for more than a decade. That’s the result of two tough hits – the first of which came in 2008 when the state banned indoor smoking. Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, says Illinois gamblers decided to stay at home and the industry is still trying to lure them back.
Revenues are now down 40 percent to $1.3 billion from the high water mark ten years ago. Gamblers instead are spending their money on video gaming machines, which can be found in many bars, restaurants, convenience stores and truck stops. Swoik says he doesn’t expect revenues to grow.
He says the state’s move to allow sports betting will help.