Your NPR news source

New Illinois Casino Revenue Less Promising

SHARE New Illinois Casino Revenue Less Promising

Officials in seven Illinois towns are waiting to hear if they’ll be home to the state’s 10th casino. But gaming revenue in Illinois is not what it used to be.

These seven towns all see one major advantage to having a casino: tax dollars. But Illinois casinos have earned about 20 percent less this year compared to last. Tom Swoik is head of the Illinois Casino and Gaming Association. He says the state’s smoking ban has forced many gamblers to take breaks.

SWOIK: For example if they go to the casino for two hours they may go out and smoke for 15, 20 minutes, a half-hour, and in this industry time away from the tables and slot machines is money.

Swoik says the weak economy accounts for some losses, too. In Aurora, the city’s finance director says the drop in casino revenue has forced the town to cut back on social services and capital projects.

The Latest