Illinois Gambling Reaches All-Time High

Those heading out to the slots may want to watch how much they’re spending. The Illinois Gaming Board reports that Streator, Ottawa, and Marseilles residents gambled nearly $100 million in 2014. That’s more than double the amount in 2013. Partial thanks are owed to 25 more municipalities unbanning video gambling machines.

Part of the increase may have been a result in the availability of video gambling machines. In 2013, 61 machines were available, while in 2014 that number increased to 98. The machines are blamed for the loss of revenue in casinos, which fell $87 million in 2014. “I constantly hear from people who say they can just go down to the corner bar and play the slots, rather than driving to a casino,” Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, said. Casino admission fell by 1.4 million as well.

Illinois gambling is not all bad though. The state of Illinois made $165 million from video gambling in 2014. In 2013, that number was $75 million. While the state gets 25% revenue, municipalities get 5%. In all, municipalities received $33 million, up from $15 million in 2013.

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