Illinois gambling expansion continues

According to data provided by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, Illinois gambling industry is booming.

US.- According to a new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) revealed that gambling industry as a whole is booming in Illinois.

Despite riverboat revenues are down 2.1 percent and horse racing revenues have also declined, overall wagers across all gambling platforms are up 8 percent.

Eric Noggle, COGFA Senior Analyst, said one of the major reasons for the mixed numbers is the expansion of video gambling.

“In downstate Illinois, that’s where our growth has come,” explained Noggle. “Video gambling revenues have allowed us to have an 8 percent overall increase in the State of Illinois.”

These results translate to nearly 4 percent increased gambling revenue for the state. Noggle said that whilst more options in downstate Illinois have helped boost gambling revenues, there are indications that areas around Chicago may be reaching a saturation point, even with the continued expansion of video gambling terminals.

Noggle also said that Illinois gambling receipts with riverboats and video gambling combined scores US$2.3 billion annually. “That would be larger than Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, states like that surrounding us,” Noggle commented.

And whilst Illinois still trails Nevada’s US$11 billion in wagers, it’s catching up to other big gambling states “like Pennsylvania with US$3.2 billion, New Jersey is at US$2.4 billion. So we’re close to New Jersey.”