* As if there was ever any doubt, Gov. Pat Quinn will veto the gaming bill that was finally released last week from a parliamentary hold…
On Oct. 17, 2011, Quinn announced that if Cullerton ever did send him the 2011 bill, he would veto it. So the bill sat, until last week. At the end of the expiring General Assembly, Cullerton cleared off his desk and sent the measure to Quinn. And on Friday, Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson assured us that the governor will follow through on his 2011 threat.
* Meanwhile, I’m not so sure this smoking ban explanation is correct…
According to a year-end report issued by the Illinois Gaming Board, [casino] revenue for the 2012 calendar year was $1.6 billion, which was up slightly from 2011, but down by about 38 percent from 2007.
Tom Swoik, director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which represents the Metropolis casino, Harrah’s, said that the 2007 smoking ban and an economy that took a turn for the worst are two reasons for the dip.
“Once the economy starts improving, I think that casino revenues will pick up,” Swoik said. “I think it will be a long time if ever that we get back to the 2007 figures because they’re not going to change the smoking ban.”
“All of the bordering states that have casinos do not have a smoking ban, so we lost about 20 percent in 2008, and we’ve lost an additional 18 or 19 percent on top of that since then just because of the economy,” Swoik added.
* It turns out, things are tough all over, despite casinos allowing smoking. For instance…
Revenues at Northwest Indiana’s five casinos dropped by $24.3 million in 2012, the second straight year of decline with the state of Indiana predicting more declines ahead.
The five Northwest Indiana casinos raked in $1.11 billion total in 2012, as compared to $1.13 billion in 2011, for a 2.1 percent drop overall, according to a tally by The Times of Indiana Gaming Commission monthly revenue reports. That drop compares with a 5.5 percent drop statewide in 2011.
All but one of the St. Louis area’s six casinos experienced revenue declines in December.
Pinnacle Entertainment’s River City Casino, in Lemay, received 3 percent more from gamblers last month than it did in December 2011. But that was the only growth among the area’s casinos, according to figures released Thursday by state regulators.
Winnings fell slightly at Lumière Place, Pinnacle’s other casino in the St. Louis market.
The biggest drop took place at Hollywood Casino, which changed hands late last year. Penn National Gaming paid Caesars Entertainment $610 million for the casino and adjoining hotel in Maryland Heights.
Nevada gaming revenues took a nosedive in November.
Statewide, casinos collected $782.6 million from gamblers during the month, a drop of almost 11.1 percent compared with $880.1 million collected in November 2011.
On the Strip, gaming revenues fell 12.8 percent with casinos collecting $431.8 million from customers, compared with $495.2 million collected a year ago.
The Gaming Control Board released the November numbers this morning.
Clark County gaming revenues as a whole fell 13 percent as every reporting area showed year-over-year monthly declines. Casinos along the Boulder Strip reported a 26 percent decline in gaming revenues while revenues were off 24 percent in North Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas gaming revenues declined 17.2 percent.