Illinois Retail Casinos Generate $26.2 Million In Revenue For January

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Despite a mid-month opening that included capacity limits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Gaming Board reported the state’s 10 casinos generated more than $26.2 million in adjusted gross revenue for January.

Venues did not begin opening their doors to patrons until Jan. 16 following a shutdown of nearly two months due to a second wave of COVID-19 throughout Illinois. Of the 10 casinos, Par-A-Dice, Jumer’s, and Harrah’s Metropolis were the first to open, and the last two were DraftKings at Casino Queen and Argosy Casino Alton on Jan. 23.

All 11 regions in the state are currently in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois for COVID-19 mitigation, which permits casinos to operate at up to 50% capacity per protocols established by the IGB last summer. Retail sports betting numbers for January at the seven venues which operate sportsbooks will not be available until mid-March at the earliest per statutory rules.

The January revenue figure, though, is well off the $100.7 million generated at the same time last year, a drop of 73.9%. Admissions to the 10 casinos last month totaled just shy of 160,000, less than 20% of the more than 805,000 people who entered in January 2020.

Some silver linings as Rivers carries the flag

Despite opening three days after Par-A-Dice, Jumer’s, and Harrah’s Metropolis and being operational for only 13 days in January, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines still generated the bulk of the revenue. The casino just beyond the Chicago city limits totaled $8.7 million in AGR, with nearly two-thirds coming from electronic gaming devices.

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Rivers averaged $200.61 of adjusted gross revenue per person — notably higher than the state average of $164.06 and 21% higher than its 2020 average of $158.45 — as 43,439 people made their way there. Rivers contributed more than $1.4 million of the $4.4 million in total tax receipts collected, with nearly $970,000 going to the state coffers.

That $164.06 average of adjusted gross revenue per person was a 31.2% increase compared to the January 2020 average of $125.02. EGD revenue for last month totaled nearly $20.8 million, accounting for almost 80% of the total generated. With just shy of $3 million in revenue derived from table games, Rivers accounted for more than 54% of the overall $5.46 million generated in that category.

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin was the only other venue to surpass $3 million in total revenue, reaping more than $3.3 million in profits. Another four — Par-A-Dice ($2.62 million), Harrah’s Joliet ($2.49 million), Hollywood Casino Aurora ($2.33 million), and Harrah’s Metropolis ($2.11 million) — all cleared the $2 million mark. Hollywood Joliet ($181.43) and Grand Victoria Casino ($180.90) were the only casinos besides Rivers to average more than $175 in AGR per visitor.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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