Chicago’s first casino made history in a lot of ways. Among them is a record total for casino revenue across Illinois for September. However, Bally’s Chicago has yet to ascend to the heights experts expect.
Over its first three weeks of operation, Bally’s drew tens of thousands of visitors and reaped millions in revenue. It still has work to do if it wants to displace a competitor in Chicago’s suburbs as the Illinois’ gaming center, though.
Bally’s Chicago casino makes debut with respectable performance
The permanent location for Bally’s Chicago will be the largest casino in Illinois and by a strong margin. For now, though, the temporary location seems to be a mere shell of the license’s potential in the state.
Bally’s opened on Sept. 9, giving it exactly three weeks of run time in the month. During that time, it produced $6.7 million in gaming revenue. Bally’s drew the second-most admissions in Illinois for all of September, though, coming in second only to Rivers in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb.
At the same time, Rivers out-earned Bally’s nearly six times over during September. As has been the case for years, Rivers was the top earner in Illinois. Rivers represented about 31.3% of the $132.1 million that Illinois casinos won from players on poker, slots, and table games during September.
That $132.1 million is the best figure for September in Illinois in any year by a margin of about 13.9%. Bally’s revenue could increase moving forward as Chicagoans become more familiar with the temporary site and the casino opens its physical sportsbook on-site shortly.
Sports betting activity recently closed the books on Illinois gambling revenue for August.
Illinois sportsbooks close out the summer strong
Differences in data collection and reporting procedures led to the Illinois Gaming Board reporting sports betting activity two months instead of a month behind. However, August 2023 was by no means behind the times.
Illinoisans gambled more money using licensed sportsbooks during August 2023 than in any prior August. The amount of money wagered on sporting events in the state for August came to $676 million.
That’s an improvement of 16.5% from the previous August high. Sportsbooks won about 8.7% of that new August high, claiming around $58.8 million in win for the month. That amounted to a decline of about 9% compared to August 2022’s revenue, though.
With the introduction of Circa Sports into Illinois and the return of the Chicago Bears’ regular season, September should be a good month for Illinois sportsbooks. In the same way, October numbers at Bally’s will be worth watching.