Home » Illinois Casinos’ April Reckoning: Revenue Declines Amidst Legislative Prospects

Illinois Casinos’ April Reckoning: Revenue Declines Amidst Legislative Prospects

In line with a nationwide trend of declining monthly gaming revenue, Illinois’ 15 casinos experienced a notable dip in earnings. Revenue amounted to $136.6 million, marking a 10.3% decrease compared to March’s total of over $152.3 million. The anticipated decline follows a surge in gambling activity typically observed in March due to events like the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments.

Tax revenue Implications: the potential of legalized online casinos:

Despite the setback, April’s revenue still contributed over $31 million in state and local taxes. The potential for significant tax boosts looms large, particularly if lawmakers move forward with legalizing online casinos in Illinois.

Legislators have introduced a bill in the Illinois House aimed at legalizing online casinos. However, prospects for its passage during the current legislative session remain uncertain. The proposed Illinois Internet Gaming Act bill would permit the state’s casinos to offer online gambling services through up to three partners, subject to a 15% tax rate.

Another bill in the Illinois Senate holds promise, especially if it progresses to be considered in budget negotiations. If Illinois embraces online casinos, it could emerge as one of the largest iGaming markets in the nation.

Based on March’s online casino revenue averages, Illinois stands to rival perennial leader Pennsylvania in revenue generation. At a proposed 15% tax rate, Illinois’ online casinos could potentially generate over $34 million in tax revenue during a favorable month.

Bally’s Chicago, a beacon amidst decline:

Amidst the broader decline in April’s casino revenue, Bally’s Chicago stands out for weathering the storm more robustly than its competitors. While 14 out of 15 casinos experienced a dip in revenue, Bally’s Chicago posted just under a 7% decline. In comparison, other top competitors, defined as casinos consistently earning $10 million a month, suffered losses of at least 8%.

On the other hand, Harrah’s Metropolis Casino was the sole property to achieve positive monthly gains, with revenue climbing from $5.3 million in March to $5.5 million in April, marking a 2.9% increase.

Despite its resilience in the face of revenue decline, Bally’s Chicago finds itself amidst a period of uncertainty. As discussions surrounding a potential acquisition by New York-based hedge fund Standard General intensify, the casino’s future becomes increasingly unclear.

As PlayUSA reports, a prominent Bally’s shareholder has raised concerns regarding the acquisition, arguing that the proposed deal undervalues the company. With Standard General eyeing shares at $15 each, uncertainty looms over the casino’s trajectory.

Furthermore, Bally’s Chicago currently operates from a temporary location, with plans underway for a permanent casino estimated at $1.34 billion. However, securing the necessary financing, approximately $800 million, remains a significant challenge for the company.

As acquisition talks unfold and funding challenges persist, the future of Bally’s Chicago remains in flux, casting a shadow over its prospects in the Illinois gambling market.