A surge in attendance contributed to a sharp rise in revenue from electronic gaming devices (EGDs) as the Illinois Gaming Board reported casino revenue totaling $122.9 million in July.
More than 840,000 admissions were counted across the state’s 11 venues, the most for any month in 2022 and 12.8% higher compared to June. The revenue total also represents a current high for the year, edging out the $122.5 million generated in April, and was an 11% increase from June’s total of $110.7 million.
It is also the highest monthly figure post-pandemic and the best month for Illinois casinos since they generated $124.3 million in revenue in December 2019. It was the second straight July in which casino revenue topped $120 million, as the year-over-year improvement was a modest 2.3% versus the $120.2 million claimed by operators in the same month in 2021.
Monthly taxes collected by the state surged to $29.7 million, a 26.8% increase compared to June, as some venues are entering higher bands of adjusted annual revenue that are taxed at a progressively higher rate. The taxes collected in July of this year were 12.3% higher than the $26.4 million collected in 2021.
The $773.2 million in casino revenue through the first seven months of 2022 is 18.9% higher compared to the same period in 2021, while the $135.8 million in state taxes is $26.7 million ahead of last year’s pace.
The casino revenue totals do not include sports wagering, which has generated $340 million in operator revenue and $51 million in state taxes in Illinois through the first six months of the year.
Attendance drives revenue rise
The notable uptick in attendance — all 11 venues had month-over-month increases in admissions — partially obscured the fact that statewide revenue per admission dipped to $146.15, the lowest it has been this year and 5.1% off the 2022 high of $153.59 established in February. Three venues had month-over-month increases in this statistic, but six of the eight that reported declines also had year-lows in per-admission revenue.
The most drastic declines in June came at Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria and Harrah’s in Joliet. Though Par-A-Dice reported a 5.6% increase in revenue to nearly $5.3 million, its per-admission revenue tumbled 8.7% to $130.44. Harrah’s had a 5.1% rise in overall revenue to $11.7 million, but a 35.1% drop in table games revenue to $1.3 million contributed to a 6.3% dip in per-admission revenue to $173.88.
Argosy Casino in Alton bucked that trend with a 2022-best $85.08 per admission, up 5.7% from June, while EGD revenue was 11.6% higher. Hollywood Casino in Joliet posted a 29% increase in EGD revenue to $7.5 million, helping lift its per-admission revenue 7.4% to $133.28.
Hard Rock, which continues to offer only EGD gaming at its temporary casino in Rockford while its permanent venue is being constructed, had a 25.3% increase in revenue to just shy of $5 million as admissions climbed 29% to 45,000.
Rivers keys uptick in EGD revenue
Rivers Casino, long the top casino revenue generator in the state, totaled $49.8 million in overall revenue for July, a high point for the year. Its EGD revenue climbed 9.1% to $31.1 million, also its best mark in that category for 2022 and nearly one-third of the $94 million statewide in that gaming discipline. Total EGD revenue surged 13.8% higher compared to June and surpassed the previous 2022 best of $92.9 million set in April.
The Des Plaines location also continued to dominate the table games scene, as the $18.7 million claimed on its felt represented 64.7% of all table revenue in the state. Rivers has seen its share of state table games revenue increase for six consecutive months from when it was 52.7% in February. Its $71.86 per admission for July was down 3.8% from June but still more than double the $34.39 statewide average.
Rivers’ dominance of the gaming scene in Illinois has also resulted in reaching thresholds for higher state tax rates in both table and EGD revenue. It has been taxed at 20% for table games since February and entered the 37.5% tax band for EGD play after surpassing $100 million in revenue for the year. Rivers has paid more than $67 million in taxes thus far in 2022, nearly half the state’s overall total.
Statewide table games revenue improved 2.9% from June to $28.9 million, but the $34.39 per admission is 8.7% lower month-over-month and at its lowest point this year.