Chicagoland Is The Biggest US Casino Hub Outside Las Vegas & Atlantic City

Written By Cole Rush on February 23, 2024
Skyline of Chicago for story on Chicagoland being the No. 3 casino hub in the US in 2023

Chicago’s recent retail casino developments have already made a huge impact. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area has regained a spot as the No. 3 casino market in the country, following Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Chicago was No. 3 casino market by revenue in 2023

It may be called the Second City (a nickname granted for Chicago’s recovery after the great fire, and not because it plays second fiddle to New York or LA), but Chicago, which added Bally’s Chicago Casino last year, nabbed third place in 2023. Its casino revenue was roughly $2,191,300,000. That represents a 2.5% bump from 2022.

In comparison, Atlantic City garnered $2,859,200,000, also a 2.5% leap from 2022. Meanwhile, Las Vegas remained the king of the hill, and it wasn’t close. The Las Vegas Strip secured $8,833,400,000, a 7.2$ uptick from 2022.

Following Chicagoland (which includes some casinos in Northwestern Indiana) was the Washington, DC and Baltimore area, including some West Virginia properties. The area logged $2,081,400,000, dipping 4.3% from 2022. This is the fourth straight year Chicagoland and the DC area flip-flopped in the rankings.

All these numbers are from the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Revenue Tracker for 2023.

How Chicago is climbing the ranks

At the risk of being labeled Captain Obvious, it’s near-impossible to unseat Las Vegas. Atlantic City isn’t the unstoppable force it once was, but the area continues to revitalize its offering. Chicagoland has made a run in recent years by investing in new casino opportunities.

The most notable development was the opening of Bally’s Casino in downtown Chicago. The temporary property opened in September of 2023, bolstering the city’s casino presence and marking the first-ever casino to open in Chicago proper. Bally’s is constructing a permanent property in River West, but recent issues have required the company to pivot and relocate its primary tower.

The Temporary by American Place opened in Waukegan, adding yet another Chicagoland casino into the mix, this time for gamblers in the northern suburbs.

PENN Entertainment already has two casinos in Illinois — Hollywood Casino Joliet and Hollywood Casino Aurora. It plans to relocate both water-based casinos to land lots in response to new Illinois laws allowing more land-based casinos.

And, of course, other existing casinos, such as the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin and Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, continue to be prime destinations for Chicagoland gamblers.

Photo by AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
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Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as PlayIllinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today,,, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for and Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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