Coronavirus comedown for Illinois gaming industry


The American state of Illinois reportedly saw aggregated tax revenues from gambling for the twelve months to the end of June fall by 13.4% year-on-year largely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report from The News-Gazette newspaper, this is the determination of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CoGFA) with the biggest comparative decrease in combined receipts at 30% witnessed by the Midwestern state’s collection of ten riverboat casinos.

Inconvenient interruption:

The newspaper reported that Illinois’ casinos were allowed to re-open from July 1 following an over 15-week coronavirus-induced shutdown so long as they agreed to abide by a range of capacity, social distancing and public health rules designed to help stop the spread of the highly-contagious infection. However, local public health officials have since purportedly re-imposed more stern mitigation measures on the areas around the cities of East St Louis and Rock Island as the infection rate in these regions continues to surpass acceptable limits.

Enduring experience:

Even before the emergence of coronavirus and the investigation from CoGFA reportedly detailed that the casino industry in Illinois had been in decline with aggregated adjusted gross receipts having dropped by 42.5% since 2012. The inquiry purportedly explained that this decrease was largely down to the 2009 legalization of video gaming terminals with ‘The Land of Lincoln’ now home to approximately 36,000 individual machines that have together managed to chalk up a 32% rise in revenues over the course of the last eight years.

Reportedly read a statement from CoGFA…

“This decline is in large part due to the suspension of video gaming and casino operations between March 16 and June 30, which thereby prevented any revenues from being generated from these sources during this time period. Although this suspension has since been lifted, gaming has only returned on a limited basis and it remains unclear how long these limitations will last. Even with the resumption of wagering, it is expected that the ramifications of the pandemic on public confidence will persist for some time.”

Immediate intrusion:

The News-Gazette reported that CoGFA’s examination moreover determined that tax revenues from sportsbetting in Illinois were virtually non-existent for the period covered due to the fact that the activity was legalized only a few months before the pandemic shut down or delayed a host of major sporting tournaments.

CoGFA’s statement reportedly read…

“Because of this, very little tax revenues, $12,224 to be exact, were reported to have been received from the sports wagering tax in the fiscal year.”

Lottery largess:

The newspaper reported that the CoGFA enquiry furthermore found that the Illinois State Lottery continued to be the largest source of tax revenues from gambling for the twelve-month period despite experiencing a comparative drop in aggregated ticket sales of 5.8%. The organization purportedly pronounced that this wane was prefaced by six years in which this lottery’s total receipts grew by only 4.8% although hopes are now high that the service will be able to reverse this trend under the new management of a local subsidiary of Camelot Group.

Reportedly read the statement from CoGFA…

“The coronavirus pandemic likely hurt lottery sales as customers were more likely to stay at home and some retailers may not have been open, making the lottery less available.”