Illinois Posts Strong April Gaming Revenue, Continues To Lead Midwest Market

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on May 19, 2022
Strong April For Illinois Gaming Industry Dominating

Illinois continues to reap the benefits from casino gaming, and April is another testament to its economic value. 

With several options, including Illinois online gambling, sports betting, and the highly popular video gaming terminals (VGT), it’s no surprise the state has been able to collect roughly $60 million in taxes in the first four months of 2022. 

But Illinois isn’t the only midwest state seeing value in gaming. Indiana and Michigan also reported strong numbers in April, further helping to establish the region as a gambling hub.

Gaming providing economic value for Illinois

Illinois casino revenue totaled $122.4 million for April, a 15.9% increase from the $105.7 million generated in March. As a result, the total tax revenue for the month was $21 million.

The state’s retail and mobile sports betting operators generated $162.4 million in revenue for Q1 2022. 

As for the top performer, that title goes to Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Rivers, owned by Rush Street Gaming, generated roughly $17.5 million in table game revenue. A contributing factor could be the recent opening of its poker room, which was part of an $87 million expansion. Rivers table game revenue accounted for nearly 60% of the state’s overall $29.6 million. 

April proved difficult for other casinos hoping to mimic Rivers’ success. Grand Victoria Casino came in at number two with $3.2 million or 10% of the state’s overall total. No other casino reached $2 million. Hollywood Aurora came close with $1.9 million in table game revenue. 

Rush Street, along with Hard Rock, were beaten out by Bally’s Corporation, which was selected as the winner of Chicago’s casino license.

A special committee will meet Friday to discuss the mayor’s selection in further detail. The Bally’s $1.7 billion casino project still requires approval from the City Council and Illinois Gaming Board. 

Slot machine numbers and VGTs

Nine of the state’s 11 casinos saw a rise in slot machine revenue from March to April. 

The top three were:

  • Rivers – $28.8 million
  • Grand Victoria – $10.8 million
  • Harrah’s Joliet – $10.6 million

As for VGTs, the devices commonly found in bars and restaurants, they saw a month-over-month decline of 2.3% to $243.8 million. To date, there are 42,571 machines across 7,914 establishments.

Regardless of the decline, net terminal income tax totaled $82.9 million for April. The state’s portion totaled $70.7 million, and local municipalities collected $12.2 million. 

So far this year, VGTs have generated $302.9 million in overall taxes, with Illinois receiving $258.4 million — nearly $44 million more than in the first four months of 2021.

What about Michigan? 

In April, The Wolverine State also reaped the rewards from its online casino and MI online poker sectors. 

Online poker and Michigan online casinos combined together produce $132.4 million in gross gaming revenue for the month. Comparing the results from the same period in 2021 shows a 39.5% increase

The state collected around $944,000 in tax revenue from online sports betting, amounting to just under $600,000 for city/local taxes.

As for iGaming, Michigan generated $24.3 million in state taxes and $6.6 million for city/local taxes.

How about the Hoosier State?

Gamblers in Indiana wagered over $360 million on sports in April. This is a small decrease from the $476 million in IN sports betting handle generated in March, which was primarily fueled by March Madness. However, when compared to April 2021, the sports betting handle actually increased 52%.

Operators in the Hoosier State made over $28 million in gross gaming revenue. As for the state, it collected roughly $2.7 million in taxes. Unfortunately for those looking for online casino games, you won’t find them in Indiana, at least for the time being.

Photo by Henryk Sadura /
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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