According to the recently released 2023 edition of the “Wagering in Illinois” report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the growing assortment of gambling products in the state generated a record high of $1.99 billion in gambling-related taxes over the fiscal year that ended June 30. That represented a 5.1% increase over the figures from Fiscal Year 2022.
The report explores the legally sanctioned forms of gambling along with their economic impact, with the Illinois Lottery, casinos, video gaming terminals, sports betting, and horse racing at the forefront.
The Illinois Lottery still occupies the leading position in terms of generated gambling revenue, with $3.6 billion in sales and the major contributor being Instant Games.
Illinois adjusted gross receipts (AGR) at land-based casinos surged from $1.308 billion in FY 2022 to $1.430 billion in FY 2023, marking a 9.3% rise. This came as a result of the business activity of the thirteen existing casinos across the state.
They generated a total of $157 million in taxes for the state coffers in FY 2023, which, compared with the collected taxes in previous years was defined as modest. Although Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and several other casino establishments marked increased revenues, others based in Elgin and Aurora saw revenue growth slow.
As far as video gaming terminals across Illinois are concerned, their numbers spiked to over 45,000 by the end of FY 2023. They yielded a net terminal income of $2.8 billion in FY 2023, a 7.2% increase from FY 2022. Although casino revenues fell 12.9% from $1.6 billion to $1.4 billion in FY 2023, when added to those from video gaming, the total spiked to $4.3 billion, or a 159.1% increase.
Three years into the legalization of sports betting in Illinois, the sector accounted for $142 million in tax revenues. License fees brought about a small portion of additional revenues. The total from the Illinois sports wagering revenue was transferred to the Capital Projects Fund. Sports betting enthusiasts’s total wagering volume amounted to more than $10.4 billion.
Horse racing was the only gambling category that marked a decline during the last fiscal year.
Report’s Findings and Industry Experts’ Opinion to Take Into Consideration
As per the report’s findings, the recorded increase stems from the temperate growth of all gambling products, except horse racing. Tax revenue generated from video gaming terminals and the Lottery accounted for the most substantial increases.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s report concluded that the gambling tax revenue was expected to rise to new highs in the coming years, with the expansion of video gaming and sports wagering. Furthermore, the surge was propelled by the creation of casino venues in new markets.
Despite the record rise in gambling-related revenue in Illinois, industry experts shared their concerns over the sustained growth of the legally sanctioned gambling products in question. Alan Woinski, a consulting and market research expert and CEO of Gaming USA Corporation, doubted the profitability of investment initiatives into casinos in the state. According to him, the Illinois government created a fiercely competitive market that would impede their sustained growth.