Illinois: Gambling

COGFA releases annual report on “Wagering in Illinois.” The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) closely monitors public-sector revenue streams, including taxes and fees paid by gamblers and gambling facilities. This is a very significant sector of the U.S. economy for both the public and the private sector, with Illinois tax revenues from gambling activities rising in FY17 (ended June 30, 2017) to $1.31 billion. This was up 7.9% from FY16.

While gaming tax revenues increased overall, the 2017 annual report shows continued changes in the types of gambling that are yielding growing streams of tax revenue. Video gaming has continued to grow as a share of overall State wagering tax revenues, up from 9.1% of total State gambling taxes in FY14 to 22.6% in FY17. Video gaming tax revenues are now the second-largest component of overall Illinois wagering tax revenues, behind the Illinois State Lottery (56.3% of the FY17 total). However, Lottery ticket sales and state revenues are largely flat, while the revenues of video gaming parlors and the taxes they generate continue to increase.

Some revenue streams are declining in trends associated with changes in the gambling industry. State taxes on the overall horse racing “handle,” reflecting bets on races in Illinois and (through intertrack and off-track betting) out-of-state races, continue to decline. In FY17, Illinois collected only $6 million in total taxes in horse racing, less than 0.5% of its total gaming revenues. Admissions to casino riverboats, adjusted gross riverboat casino receipts (riverboat AGRs), and taxes on riverboat AGRs also declined in FY17. COGFA analysts believe that increased competition from video gaming continues to be a major contributing factor toward changes in the Illinois riverboat casino industry.

Comments are closed.