Illinois Casino Revenue Falls To $124 Million In August, Still Higher Than 2022

Written By T.J. McBride on October 10, 2023
Photo of stacks of 100s with a Illinois logo on a story about August casino revenues.

The Illinois casino market continues to grow as new casinos come online. Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort is the newest casino to report revenue to the state, and next month, Bally’s Chicago will add its revenue to the pie.

Despite the growing market, August casino revenue fell to $124.4 million after shooting up to over $133.2 million in July. Even with the month-over-month slip, August saw an 8.5% year-over-year increase. YoY tax dollars from casino gambling were up just 1% in August.

The biggest growth compared to August 2022 is the number of admissions. They jumped from 805,000 to nearly 921,000, a 14% increase. Most players played penny slots and BlackJack 21 Plus 3 in August.

BlackJack 21 Plus 3 remains most popular table game in Illinois

There are 15 casinos currently in operation in The Land of Lincoln, including the temporary Bally’s Chicago.

In addition to multiple gaming halls to visit, there are plenty of types of games to partake in. With a total of 20 different table games available across all casinos in Illinois and nearly 11,000 slot machines, the choices can feel endless. More than $95.2 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) came from slot machines in August, while $29.2 million was collected from table games.

The king of table game options in Illinois in August was BlackJack 21 Plus 3. It’s a variation of the typical blackjack with an added side bet. It represented over 18% of all table game gross receipts. Rivers Casino is the statewide leader in the number of BlackJack 21 Plus 3 tables with 33, nearly half of all the tables offering the game in Illinois.

Here are other table games that saw a minimum of $1 million of gross receipts in August:

  • Mini-Baccarat: $5.1 million
  • Craps: $4.5 million
  • Roulette: $4.2 million
  • Blackjack: $3.1 million
  • Ultimate Texas Hold ’em: $2.2 million
  • Poker: $1.7 million
  • Mississippi Stud: $1.4 million

Penny slots still the most popular slot machine games

The story is always the same for most popular slot machines in Illinois. Penny slots continue to lead the way in popularity and availability.

Of the 10,834 slot machines in Illinois, more than 66% of them are penny slots. Those penny slots accumulated over $66.3 million in gross receipts, which was nearly 62% of the statewide gross receipts for all slot machines in Illinois.

Coming in second place for both optionality and gross receipts are $1 slots. There are 1,189 $1 slot machines in the state, which generated nearly $14 million. Taking the bronze medal for August are quarter slot machine games, which racked up nearly $7 million in gross receipts from the 910 machines across the state.

Rivers Casino continues to keep a strong hold on IL casino market

Seemingly every month, Rivers Casino continues to display its dominance of the Illinois casino market and August was no different. The more than $44.7 million in AGR generated at Rivers was nearly four times higher than Grand Victoria Casino, which came in second.

Rivers Casino features 1,516 slot machines, which is 500 more than the next closest casino. The same can be said for table games. Rivers has 120 table games. The next highest in Illinois is 45. That massive gaming floor allowed Rivers to reach 264,539 admissions, which was nearly 29% of all casino admissions in Illinois for August.

Grand Victoria Casino came in second place with $12 million of AGR, which held off Harrah’s Joliet’s $10.6 million.

Casinos gave more than $30 million to state in August

Here’s how much AGR each casino generated in August, including the newly opened Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort, which reported just nine days of numbers:

In total, over $30.7 million was added to the state in the form of tax dollars. Of that total, over $7.1 million went to the communities that house casinos.

These numbers would pale in comparison to revenue driven by online casinos in Illinois. However, even with a thriving online sports betting scene, the state is still a ways off from legalizing real-money casino apps. When that day comes, though, the windfall of tax dollars headed to state coffers will be considerable.

Next month will be the first look at Bally’s Chicago

Bally’s Chicago opened a temporary operation in the Medinah Temple on Sept. 9. It’s the first casino in Chicago.

Currently, 800 slot machines and 50 table games are available, and the gaming floor is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.

The permanent facility in River West is not expected to open until 2026 at the earliest. Construction is expected to begin in early next year.

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayIllinois
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He covers the gaming landscape across multiple states in addition to his main beat covering the NBA's Denver Nuggets. His NBA work can be found at several major media outlets including ESPN, FiveThirtyEight and Bleacher Report.

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