Wanna bet? The numbers show that there are plenty of people out there who do. They don’t mind spending their hard-earned cash on a (slim) chance to win more cash.
Video gaming, in particular, has drawn more and more customers, according to a Wagering in Illinois, a report released last month by the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, is a member of that group.
The increase in video gaming led to an overall increase in gaming revenue in fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30. More would be better, right? Not exactly.
The report says adding casinos in Chicago, Rockford and four other locales, adding three racetrack casinos and adding more gaming positions at existing casinos would increase overall revenues by $1 billion, but would increase tax revenues by about $75 million.
“The state could have a large expansion of gambling, but yet have little new tax revenues to show for it,” the report said.
Still, there are big bucks to be made in gaming. Here’s a look at how the dollars add up.
$4 billion: The amount of money Illinois residents lost on legal gambling in fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30. The house always wins.
$3.8 billion: Overall gaming revenues, an increase of 70 percent since 2012 thanks to video gaming. Revenue from the state’s riverboat casinos has fallen 15 percent in that time. “Video gaming has simply ‘reshuffled the deck chairs’ by redistributing casino gaming revenues to the numerous gaming venues that now exist in this region,” the report says.
$3 billion: State lottery sales, a 3 percent increase. It was the first year with significant growth since 2013. The lottery accounted for about 54 percent of all state revenue from gambling. Lottery money was 13 to 15 percent of general state aid to schools.
$1.356 billion: The state’s share of tax revenues from wagering in Illinois, a 3.5 percent increase from 2017.
$70 million: Tax revenue to local governments thanks to video gaming. Rockford received a little more than $1.6 million.
29,283: The number of video gaming terminals in Illinois. That number is expected to grow to 30,000 in 2019. Casinos are limited to 1,200 gaming positions but there’s no limit to how many video gaming terminals can be in operation across the state. Springfield had the most terminals with 630. Rockford was second with 468.
$1.4 billion: Adjusted gross receipts for Illinois’ 10 riverboat casinos, a 1.3 percent decline. AGR was $2 billion in fiscal year 2007. Casinos were a 20 percent slice of the gaming pie. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines (2.1 percent) and the Hollywood Casino in Joliet (0.6 percent) were the only two that had increases. Attendance fell in all casinos.
$388 million: State revenues generated from casinos, a 1.1 percent drop. Illinois trails Iowa ($1.5 billion), Missouri ($1.7 billion) and Indiana ($2.1 billion) among Midwest states in casino gaming revenue.
$12.6 million: Total revenues generated from horse racing in calendar year 2017, an increase from 2016, but far less than the $20.6 million generated in 2007. There are only three racetracks left in Illinois: Arlington Heights, Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero and Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville. Horse racing made up 0.4 percent of Illinois gaming revenue.
$4.7 million: Miscellaneous gaming revenue. Illinois gets additional tax and license revenue via bingo, charitable games, pull tabs and jar games.
$311: Per-person spending on gambling.