The Illinois Gaming Board reported combined casino revenue totaling $117.3 million for August, with a drop in electronic gaming device (EGD) and slot revenue the primary cause for a month-over-month decline.
The figure represents a 4.5% dip from July’s $122.9 million, but it was also 10.4% higher than the $107.9 million claimed in August of last year. The state’s 11 casinos have generated $890.5 million through the first eight months of the year, a 17.5% increase compared to 2021, when 10 venues were in operation (Rockford Casino — Hard Rock’s temporary venue in the northern part of the state — did not begin operations until November).
State coffers received $29.4 million in taxes from August casino wagering, which does not include taxes levied on sports wagering. The IGB has yet to release August revenue numbers for sports wagering. Illinois has taken in $165 million in state taxes through casino revenue in 2022, $30.6 million more than the same period last year.
Attendance tumbles, but table action picks up at Joliet
There were just shy of 791,000 admissions to Illinois casinos in August, 5.9% fewer than the 2022-best 840,000 the previous month. Despite the decline, table revenue improved 3.2% to $29.8 million as statewide table revenue per admission jumped more than $3 to $37.71.
Interestingly, Joliet proved to be a notable source for the month-over-month increase. The Harrah’s and Hollywood venues combined for $2.9 million in table revenue, an increase of $730,000 from July. The average revenue per admission at the Harrah’s location jumped from $19.67 to $29.56, while it climbed from $13.86 to $19.41 at Hollywood.
Rivers Casino also reported an increase in table revenue to $19 million with an average revenue per admission of $75.19 — both monthly highs for 2022 — but its share of the state’s table games revenue declined nearly one full percentage point to 63.9%.
DraftKings at Casino Queen avoids slots downturn
DraftKings at Casino Queen was the only venue in the state not to have a month-over-month decline in slots revenue, gaining 6.3% from July to $5.4 million. The overall state total of $87.5 million was 6.9% lower than July’s $94 million, but the average per admission decline was much softer at 1% to $110.62.
Rivers and Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin were the only two venues to surpass $10 million in slots revenue, while Harrah’s in Joliet backslid enough to narrowly miss out on an eight-figure total for the second straight month and fourth overall in 2022. Rivers, as expected, paced all casinos with $29.3 million — 5.9% lower than July but still its second-highest total of the year.
The upswing in table games revenue was enough to make Harrah’s in Joliet the state leader in revenue per admission at $191.03, edging out Rivers by 25 cents. Grand Victoria rounded out the podium spots at $178.24 and was the only other venue to eclipse $150 in revenue per admission. The statewide average was $148.33, up 1.5% from July but down 1% from August 2021.
VGT revenue inches higher to nearly $227 million
The other key wagering vertical in Illinois, video gaming terminals (VGTs), saw a slight increase in net terminal income (NTI) for August to $226.9 million, up 0.5% from July. August marked the first time the state had more than 8,000 establishments with at least one VGT, while the amount of machines in operation reached a year high of 43,876 — 625 more than July.
The overall VGT wagering activity for the month totaled $2.65 billion, just 0.1% higher compared to July. There was also a minuscule increase in “funds in,” which is the amount of money entered into the VGTs. That totaled $881.4 million, an increase of less than $700,000 from the previous month.
The state received $65.8 million of the overall $77.2 million in taxes generated from the net terminal income, raising the total for the year to $530 million. The nearly $1.8 billion in NTI for the first eight months of the year is 10.5% higher compared to the same period for 2021, and this year’s tax total is $59.3 million more versus last year.