September 30, 2022
The Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) has released a new report on gaming in Illinois. The report provides a comprehensive look at all forms of legally sanctioned wagering in the state, including casino gambling, horse racing, video gaming, the Lottery and now sports betting.
In FY2022, the State of Illinois collected nearly $1.9 billion in total gaming revenues. The single largest gaming revenue source was the Lottery, which generated $833 million, 44.2% of the total. However, video gaming is now a close second source of revenue, with $762 million being collected in FY2022. Smaller amounts were collected from sports wagering ($142 million), riverboat casinos ($140 million) and horse racing ($7 million).
The next table examines changes in Illinois gaming revenue before the COVID-19 pandemic in FY2018 versus FY2022, when the State began to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. In FY2018, pre pandemic gaming revenues totaled nearly $1.4 billion. They fell to $1.2 billion in FY2020 and $1.4 billion the following year; much of this was due to decreases in casino tax revenues due to pandemic related casino closures.
In FY2022, however, total revenues rebounded strongly, rising to nearly $1.9 billion, a 38.8% increase from the prior year. COGFA attributes the increase to a jump in terminal and betting limits, increases in discretionary income, improved accessibility to venues and forms of gaming and pent up consumer demand.
The next chart shows changes in revenues from different types of gaming between FY2018 and FY2022.
The Lottery was the largest revenue source in that five-year period, rising from $732 million to $833 million.
The next biggest gaming revenue in this five-year period was video gaming, which was legalized in July 2009 with P.A. 96-0034. It generated $762 million in FY2022, a 119.6%, $415 million, increase since FY2018. The number of video gaming terminals increased to 43,000 by the end of state fiscal year 2022.
Riverboat casino revenues fell to $0 in FY2021 when the casinos were closed from March 16 to June 30, 2020; they have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. In FY2022, casinos generated $140 million in revenues, 48.5% less than five years before. In the near future, casino gambling will expand exponentially with the opening of a 4,000 seat Chicago casino, the development of six additional casinos and increases in gaming positions at existing casinos.
Sports betting began in Illinois FY2020, but the first full year of operation was FY2021. Since FY2020, sports wagering revenues from taxes and license fees have grown from $7 million to $142 million, surpassing casino revenues.
Horse racing revenues remained relatively stable, rising from $6 million in FY2018 to $7 million in FY2022.
The final chart compares the State of Illinois’ gaming revenue versus the gaming establishments’ “hold.” The hold is the difference between the amount wagered by customers and the amount paid to winners. This is commonly referred to as adjusted gross receipts for casinos and sports betting and as net terminal income for video gaming. Between FY2018 and FY2020 the total hold for gaming establishments fell from $4.1 billion to $3.3 billion. It has since recovered, rising to nearly $5.9 billion in FY2022, a 78.1% or $2.6 billion three-year increase.
 This amount does not include local gaming revenues.
 Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. 2022 Update: Wagering in Illinois, p. i.
 Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. 2022 Update: Wagering in Illinois, p. ii.
 Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. 2022 Update: Wagering in Illinois, p. 15.
 Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. 2022 Update: Wagering in Illinois, p. 4.