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Officials Blame Video Gambling For Declining Revenue At Illinois Casinos

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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(CBS) — Local and gaming officials say the rise of video gambling in Illinois is causing revenues to fall at the state’s casinos, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

The Grand Victoria, in Elgin, is the state’s most successful Riverboat casino. But while the riverboat boasted $6.5 million in revenue back in 2010, this year it’s less than $3.5 million.

Officials Blame Video Gambling For Declining Revenue At Illinois Casinos

casino gambling 1116 Officials Blame Video Gambling For Declining Revenue At Illinois Casinos
WBBM 780/105.9FM

Tom Swoik, director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, says the growth of video gambling is at least partly to blame.

“The casinos are restricted to 1,200 gaming positions per casino. We have 10 casinos, that equates right at 12,000 gaming positions. With 18,000 video gaming positions out there, that is almost the equivalent statewide of having another 15 casinos,” Swoik said.

Swoik admits the state’s smoking ban was the first blow to casino revenues in Illinois. Indiana doesn’t have such a ban. He says the economy is also a factor.