Video Gaming Terminals Wagering Volume in Illinois Is Expected to Challenge the Lottery’s Leading Position

Video Gaming Terminals Wagering Volume in Illinois Is Expected to Challenge the Lottery’s Leading PositionVideo slot machines and video gaming terminals at licensed establishments in Illinois tend to attract a rapidly increasing volume of wagering. The collected gambling revenue exceeds that of sports wagering and Blackjack tables.

The data on the state’s gambling revenue is courtesy of the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA). The legislative service agency provides fiscal information regarding the Illinois economy, taxes, and other sources of revenue.

According to the latest report by the agency, video gaming terminals located at authorized bars, restaurants, stores, and casino establishments across Illinois, rank second in terms of wagering revenue, preceded only by the lottery. Although the Illinois State Lottery still gets the lion’s share of wagering in the Prairie State, its leading position may soon be challenged due to the great interest in video gaming terminals.

Gambling tax revenue in Illinois rose to an unparalleled volume of approximately $2 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June. While the lottery represented about 44% of the tax revenue, video gaming’s share stood at nearly 41%.

As far as the recorded increase in both sectors is concerned, video slot machines take the lead. They have scored a greater increase of 6.8%, compared to that of lotteries, which stood at 4.7%.

With the passing of the Video Gaming Act in July 2009, the placement of video gaming terminals in approved establishments across Illinois was approved. Ever since their popularity has been constantly on the rise.

The Growth of Illinois Tax Gambling Revenue Depends on New Casino Openings

Lucy Dadayan, Principal Research Associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, recently commented that the growth of the Illinois gambling tax revenue was contingent on the opening of new casino establishments and investments in more video gaming terminals. This would impact the final figures more than the amount wagered on average at each casino establishment.

As SuperCasinoSites already reported, Chicago welcomed its first land-based downtown casino resort on September 9, 2023. Bally’s Casino Complex launched its operations at Medinah Temple in River North. The landmark location is a temporary one, with plans to move to the casino’s permanent site in the River West neighborhood, scheduled for 2026.

As for sports betting, Illinois legalized the popular pastime in June 2019. The first retail sportsbooks opened their doors to the public in March 2020, whereas the first sportsbook apps were launched in June 2020. Ever since the amount of sports wagering tax revenue rose from $7 million in fiscal year 2020 to $143 million in the last fiscal year.

According to Joshua Goodman, researcher at The Pew Charitable Trusts, the US states continue the trend to rely on gambling as a source of revenue, even though its contribution is still a small one. The gambling tax revenue in Illinois for fiscal year 2023 represented less than 5% of the total revenue. The researcher added that although tax gambling revenue was directed toward education and large-scale projects, governments should be cautious to rely on it for ongoing expenditure since it fluctuated along with the economy.