August Numbers Show Why Illinois Casinos Don’t Fret Summer Downturns

Written By Derek Helling on October 5, 2019 - Last Updated on March 9, 2022
Illinois casinos summer revenue

Human beings are creatures of habit. That applies to casino patrons as uniformly as it does to any other group of people, and this is visible in the August Illinois casino revenue report.

The months of May through July are usually the worst of the year for casinos across the nation. Without fail, August comes to the rescue, and that’s the case again in 2019.

The skinny on August Illinois casino revenues

According to the latest revenue report from the Illinois Gaming Board, adjusted gross receipts at all of the casinos in the state were up 1.85%. Total admissions were also up 1.64% compared with July.

The revenue total for all 10 facilities for August was $117.9 million. In July it was $115.75 million. Not all of the casinos saw an increase, however.

In fact, four of the casinos actually saw a decrease. Those facilities and their percentage drops were:

  • Hollywood Joliet: 2.38%
  • Harrah’s Metropolis: 6.06%
  • Par-A-Dice: 7.3%
  • Jumer’s: 7.63%

The other six operators more than made up for those losses, however. The Grand Victoria, which saw a 12.43% increase in revenue for August, headlined that growth.

Although the August numbers are a positive sign, not everything is looking rosy. Other comparisons are less favorable for Illinois’ casinos.

Year-over-year and cumulative annual revenue comparisons

August 2018 was better than this year’s version of August, and 2018 to this point was a better year than 2019 has been so far. Fortunately for Illinois’ casinos, they aren’t far off those paces.

Illinois casino revenue in August 2018 was $118.38 million, but that’s only a difference of 0.41%. There’s a bit more distance in the cumulative annual comparison.

Through the first eight months of 2018, Illinois casinos took in $927.75 million. Through August of this year, the same facilities brought in $895.93. That difference is 3.43%.

That difference is also such that the casinos could make it up in a solid fall and winter.

Why fall and winter are better for the casino industry

The summer months representing a slow time for the casino industry is more about consumer habits than anything the casinos are doing wrong. Simply put, customers spend their resources elsewhere.

With casino patrons needing to devote extra money and time to child care as their children aren’t in school during the summer months, that cuts into the same being available for gaming. It’s also the time that customers are most likely to take trips.

August sees the end of that diversion and gets people back into habits that free those resources up. Casinos capitalize on the moment, advertising to draw their regulars back in.

For instance, October 2018 saw almost double the month-over-month growth that August of this year boasted. If that happens again this year, it would nullify the losses the casinos took during June and July.

Casino guests are as predictable in their spending habits as Bears fans are consistent in their love for Mike Ditka. While that means slow times in the summer months, it also means that better times are ahead. That may have already started if the numbers from August of this year turn into a larger pattern.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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