Illinois Gaming Revenue Up in June, Bally’s Chicago Falls Short of Expectations

Land Based Casinos Business
Edward Scimia

Updated by Edward Scimia

Journalist

Last Updated 9th Jul 2024, 01:20 AM

Bally’s casino medinah temple Chicago

The Bally’s Casino in downtown Chicago ticked down a bit in terms of monthly revenue, but overall Illinois casino gaming in thriving. (Image: Dan Michalski/Casinos.com)

The Illinois casino market experienced strong growth overall in June, though that success wasn’t enough to lift the state’s most controversial casino project.

Illinois casinos brought in a total of $138.3 million in gross revenue during June 2024, a 13.1 percent increase over the same month in 2023.

Large Casinos Struggle, Smaller Venues Pick Up the Slack

While much of that improvement can be attributed to the fact that two new venues have opened since last year, the state would still be up 2.5 percent year-over-year.

Existing casinos varied in their results for June. The largest and most successful facility in the state, Rivers Casino, was down 0.9 percent to $43.9 million in revenue. Rivers is still attracting the most patronage of any casino in Illinois, bringing in over 255,000 visitors for the month, and is responsible for the lion’s share of tax allocations to the state.

CasinoJune 2024June 2023Change
Rivers Casino$43.9 million$44.4 million-0.9%
Grand Victoria Casino$11.5 million$12.5 million-7.6%
Bally’s Chicago$10.4 millionN/AN/A
Harrah’s Joliet$10.3 million$10.9 million-4.8%
American Place$8.8 million$6.6 million+33.0%
Hollywood Aurora$8.0 million$7.9 million+1.8%
Hollywood Joliet$7.8 million$7.2 million-4.8%
DraftKings at Casino Queen$7.1 million$6.6 million+7.0%
Hard Rock Rockford$6.1 million$5.7 million+5.6%
Par-a-Dice Hotel Casino$5.5 million$5.3 million+3.7%
Bally’s Quad Cities$5.3 million$4.9 million+8.6%
Harrah’s Metropolis$4.8 million$5.2 million-7.2%
Golden Nugget Danville$3.2 million$2.1 million+52.2%
Argosy Casino Alton$3.0 million$3.0 million-2.6%
Walker’s Bluff Casino$2.6 millionN/AN/A

 

In fact, each of the top three casinos that were around a year ago suffered losses, with Grand Victoria Casino down 7.6 percent and Harrah’s Joliet giving back 4.8 percent year-over-year.

But outside of the heavy hitters, there were some successes. American Place saw its revenue soar 33 percent to $8.8 million in June, while the Golden Nugget Danville was up an impressive 52.2% to $3.2 million. In all, seven casinos were up compared to 2023, while six saw year-over-year declines. 

Bally’s Chicago Sees Revenue Drop Month-Over-Month

Walker’s Bluff Casino only opened in August 2023, and brought in $2.6 million in its first June report. The other new casino is the temporary venue for Bally’s Chicago, which is currently located at Medinah Temple.

Bally’s Chicago generated $10.4 million in revenue in June, down from its monthly high of $11.7 million in May. While those numbers have made the facility the third-largest casino by gross revenue in the state, and the second-largest in terms of admissions, they have still fallen well short of expectations.

So far in 2024, Bally’s Chicago has generated $6.8 million in tax revenue for the city of Chicago, including about $1.3 million in June. However, that’s nowhere near enough to meet the $35 million that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson budgeted for this year.

Still, both Bally’s and Chicago officials have been touting the strong visitation numbers for the temporary casino, which reached a total of 1 million visitors late last month. Bally’s will take control of its permanent location, the Tribune Freedom Center in River West, later in July, and hopes to open its $1.7 billion casino there by September 2026. However, some investors have warned that a takeover bid by Bally’s chairman Soo Kim could endanger the project. 

Overall, Illinois casinos generated $28.3 million in taxes for the state in June, along with $8.6 million in local taxes. 

Meet The Author

16 Years
Experience
Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
Journalist Journalist

Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for About.com, Gambling.com, and Covers.com, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

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