* State and local video gaming receipts more than doubled last year…
According to the Illinois Gaming Board, state revenue from the machines topped $164.8 million in 2014, up from $75.1 million in 2013. Municipalities received $32.9 million, compared to $15 million the year before.
The money flowed in as gamblers poured more than $2.4 billion into the machines over the 12-month period, winning $1.7 billion of that back. Five percent of the revenue goes to cities, towns and counties, while 25 percent goes to the state.
Since the first 61 machines went online in September 2012 at a handful of bars and restaurants, the number of machines and locations has mushroomed to 19,182 machines in 4,675 locations.
While the revenue is helping pay for state construction projects, the spread of the machines is being blamed for a corresponding decrease in revenue for the state’s 10 casinos.
Those casinos had a monopoly and huge profits for a very long time, while local tavern owners faced arrest for offering similar gambling options to their patrons. It wasn’t fair.
The Illinois Gaming Board says revenue from casinos fell nearly $87 million in 2014 from a year earlier. Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, blamed the decline on the spread of video gambling machines.
“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,” Swoik said.
Casino admission fell 1.4 million from 2013 to 2014. Lawmakers have long talked about adding more casinos in the state. […]
Video gambling machines are banned in 175 municipalities, down from 200 a year earlier.
* Springfield gaming terminals up 46 percent in 2014; revenue hits $1M