Report: Rivers Casino Meant Big Revenues For Illinois Last Year

DES PLAINES, Ill. (CBS) — The newest Illinois casino helped to raise the state’s take from gambling for the first time since 2007.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the State of Illinois took in about $400 million in gambling receipts last year, up about $15 million in 2010.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The Rivers Casino, which opened with much fanfare in Des Plaines in July of last year, is getting the credit, the Daily Herald reports.

Since the Rivers Casino opened, its advertising has been ubiquitous, with a slightly modified version of “Get Down Tonight” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band appropriated as its theme song. And the publicity seems to be paying off – the Daily Herald says the casino has led the monthly revenue count since it opened, knocking the Grand Victoria in Elgin into second place.

Last month, the Rivers Casino brought in $33 million, the Grand Victoria $19 million, the Daily Herald reported.

Gambling expansion remains a hot – and unresolved – topic in Illinois. Last year, Gov. Pat Quinn threatened to veto passed by the Illinois General Assembly that would have licensed five new casinos – including the first within the Chicago city limits – as well as slot machines at racetracks, at O’Hare and Midway airports and at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Ultimately, the bill was never sent to his desk.

For backers of gambling expansion, the new state revenues generated by the Rivers Casino serve as proof that even more gambling would be good for state coffers, the Daily Herald reported. But opponents argue that Rivers is just stealing gamblers from other casinos, the newspaper reported.

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