Legalized Gambling Revenues Plummet Amid Pandemic

Legalized Gambling Revenues Plummet Amid Pandemic

SPRINGFIELD – Revenues flowing into state coffers from legalized gambling operations plummeted during the fiscal year that ended June 30 as casinos, racetracks and other video gambling venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people also slowed down on buying lottery tickets, according to a new report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CoGFA), which said total state tax revenues generated through legalized gambling fell 13.4 percent, or about $200 million, compared to the previous fiscal year.

The report noted that casinos suffered the biggest declines, with adjusted gross receipts falling by 30 percent, or more than $400 million, compared to the previous year. That included a $119 million drop in receipts at the state’s largest casino, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, but all other casinos reported significant declines as well.

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