Slot Machines in Illinois Airports Could Bring State Millions

Last month, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a new capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open in the state. This week, a study was released that indicates slot machines in Illinois airports could bring the state millions in additional revenue each year. It’s exciting news for lawmakers here looking to cash in on the gambling industry.Slot Machines Inside A Casino

Today, we’re looking at the details of the recent study on airport slots. We’ll also talk about why many companies are turning down the opportunity to run a casino in the Windy City.

Union Gaming Analytics Releases Study on Illinois Casinos

Ever since the recent capital plan was passed, casino companies and politicians have discussed the feasibility of a Chicago casino. Illinois has some of the highest tax rates on the gambling industry and as a result, several major casino operators are staying away from here. Union Gaming Analytics recently conducted a study on how much money slot machines in Illinois airports could make.

According to this group, it’s a substantial amount of money. In the 50-page feasibility report, Union Gaming states that slots at O’Hare and Midway airports could earn upwards of $37 million every year. This revenue figure is based on having 500 slot machines in both of these airports.

It’s a surprising figure to many. As of now, only airports in Las Vegas and Reno offer slot machine gambling. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania recently passed legislation to allow gambling in airports, as well, yet none have officially begun offering slot games.

Union Gaming Analytics claims that these slots would function, “namely as an option for some travelers to pass time.” The group believes that each slot machine could earn about $200 per day, amounting to $36.5 million over a year.

Who Would Own and Operate the Slot Machines in Illinois Airports?

Finding reputable casino operators to break into the Illinois market hasn’t been easy. As we’ve already mentioned, this state has some of the highest tax rates on casinos in the entire country. Under the new capital plan, casinos are facing a 72% tax rate on all revenue earned.

As you might expect, some of the top US casino operators are claiming that Chicago, and Illinois as a whole, is not a lucrative market. Las Vegas Sands has already claimed they are not interested in opening a Chicago casino. MGM Resorts echoed that statement.

As of now, the plan is for whatever company chooses to run the new casino in Chicago to operate airport slot machine gambling, as well. The state’s gambling expansion bill allows for the Chicago casino operators to offer 4,000 slots. Any of these gambling machines added to airports will count against this figure.

Even if the Chicago casino isn’t successful, the airport’s slots will be, according to Union Gaming.

“As such, greater total revenues and taxes would be achieved by [allocating] a few hundred slot machines to Midway and O’Hare airports,” the study concluded. 

Online Casino Gambling Continues to Grow in Chicago

Lawmakers in Illinois are clearly interested in earning more revenue from the gambling industry. Sports betting was recently legalized here and six new casinos are set to open up over the next few years. Interestingly, there hasn’t been much of a push to regulate online casino gambling in the state.

Today, only three states have regulated internet casino gambling markets. New Jersey controls one of the most lucrative internet gambling markets in the country with millions being generated each month.

Fortunately for fans of gambling here, there are still a large number of great online casinos in Illinois currently available. These websites generally offer just as many gaming options as the country’s top-land based casinos. They also provide a range of safe, quick payment options.

It’s important to note that these websites are not regulated by the state. Based on the way things are going here, this may change in the near future.

Slot machines in Illinois airports may be right around the corner. First, however, Illinois politicians will need to approve an operator to take control of the proposed casino in Chicago. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on Illinois’ gambling industry over the next few weeks!

Study on the Chicago Casino Locations Being Released This Week

In late June, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a new $45 billion capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open in the state. This includes a new casino in Chicago. Today, a study on the Chicago casino locations is being released.

Chicago City Skyline

There are several possible locations for a brand new casino in the Windy City. Today, we’re looking at where this casino may end up. We’re also going to look at some other major gambling developments happening here. Let’s get into it!

Illinois’ Capital Plan Allows for Five New Casinos

Lawmakers in Illinois have been looking for new ways to generate revenue for the state. With gambling growing more popular around the country, politicians here decided it was time to get in on the profits. Governor Pritzker officially signed a new $45 billion capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open up.

Most of these casinos will be located in rural areas. The cities of Waukegan, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County, and an unnamed city in Cook County have all voted to open a gambling establishment. In Cook County, a “racino” will be opened, as opposed to a traditional land-based casino.

It’s exciting news for gambling fans around the state. Illinois is known for having a passionate gambling fan base. Hope is that the new gambling venues here will generate much-needed revenue each month.

The proposed casino in Chicago is getting the most attention. It’s the first time that a legal casino will operate in the city limits. Now, lawmakers are working to decide where this new casino should open.

Study on the New Chicago Casino Locations is Being Revealed

Today, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is introducing a new $120,000 feasibility study that evaluates five areas around Chicago for the new casino. Lightfoot claims that the study will allow lawmakers to decide whether or not these locations can hold a new gambling venue. Here are the locations currently being discussed.

  • The Old Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville, south of McCormick Place.
  • A vacant parcel in Lawndale at Kostner Avenue and Roosevelt Road on the west side.
  • Next to Harborside International Golf Center in the Chicago port district on the far southeast side.
  • South Works – an old U.S. steel site in the far south side of the city.
  • A parcel of land at Pershing and State – four blocks south of Guaranteed Rate Field on the south side.

There are already many complaining about the proposed sites. Pat Dowell, a resident of Bronzeville, feels that the area is not made to hold a major gambling venue.

“A casino … is simply not appropriate for this site,” he said. “A Bronzeville casino would destroy the neighborhood’s character without maximizing the benefit to Chicago.”

Dr. Michael Wenz, an economics professor at Northeastern Illinois University, gave his take on the perfect Chicago casino locations.

“You want to be in a place where you’ll have a high demand for gambling services, and being close to downtown Chicago is a way to address that,” he said. “So I’d be in a place where you can draw the gamblers from downtown, especially tourists, but draw the economic development and employment opportunities from the areas you want to draw the workers from.”

Illinois Set to Legalize Sports Betting

Back in May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, opening the doors for each state to set its own laws on sports gambling. Today, 10 states have now legalized sports betting and many more have pending legislation to open the industry. Illinois is just about ready to open up sports gambling, as well.

In June, the Illinois Legislature passed a bill to allow both land-based and online sports betting. This bill also allows for placing sports bets in major sports venues including Wrigley Stadium. Placing bets on minor league sports will remain illegal.

There are also many calling for the state to begin regulating online casino gambling. There are currently many great online casinos in Illinois. Unfortunately, the state does not regulate these websites.

Five Chicago casino locations have been revealed. Now, we’ll need to wait and see how lawmakers evaluate these sites. Stay tuned for updates on where this casino will end up over the next few weeks!

Churchill Downs Announces New Casino Expansion Plans

Illinois is fully embracing its gambling industry. Not long ago, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new gambling bill into law that allows for new casinos and legal sports betting. This week, Churchill Downs, one of the largest gambling operators in the state, announced new casino expansion plans.

Flag Of Illinois

This company already operates one of the most successful casinos in the state. Churchill Downs is preparing to add significantly more gambling options to this gambling venue. Here’s what we can expect over the next few years.

Illinois Lawmakers Approve Gambling Expansion Bill

Many US states are actively working to expand their gambling industries. Back in May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, allowing each state to set their own laws on the sports betting industry. Almost immediately after, several major states began to legalize sports gambling, and some decided to allow online casino gambling.

Competition is higher than ever in the US gambling market. Lawmakers are finally beginning to realize the huge potential for revenue gains through this industry. In June, Governor Pritzker officially signed a new gambling expansion bill into law.

Under this new set of laws, new casinos can be constructed in five different Illinois cities. This includes a brand new casino in Chicago. It also gives the state’s existing casinos the option to increase their amount of gambling options.

One of the largest casino operators in this state has announced that they plan to do just that. It’s exciting news for what is already some of the most popular gambling venues in Illinois. Let’s look at what this company has planned!

Churchill Downs Ready to Expand Its Casino Operations

Churchill Downs, a Louisville-based casino and racetrack operator currently controls the largest casino in Illinois, the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. In March, this company purchased a 61% stake in the gambling venue. Almost immediately after the new gambling bill was set in place, this company began preparing to upgrade the casino.

Officials in this company announced they plan to add 800 new gambling positions for their Des Plaines casino. They are also working to obtain a sports betting license. The company officially notified the Illinois Gaming Board of these expansion plans.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs, announced several other new plans for this casino, as well. He states that the company will expand the garage, and add more room to the gaming floor.

“Rivers will be working with the Illinois Gaming Board to ascertain what is permissible and to scope out the timing and full capital plan,” Carstanjen said.

This is an exciting time for Illinois’ gambling market. The land-based casinos here are set to expand and over the next few years, several new casinos will begin opening up.

Illinois Goes All-In On Sports Betting

It’s well-known that Illinois has one of the most passionate sporting fan bases in the country. Several professional sports teams call this state home, including the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks. With PASPA now gone, this state quickly began the process of legalizing sports gambling.

Churchill Downs is eager to get in on the regulated sports betting market. Mr. Carstanjen announced that the company will pay $10 million for a sports betting license. Both land-based and online sports gambling will be available through Rivers Casino.

“We’re very excited about the potential of the Illinois sports wagering market,” he said. “We will participate in this new market through our 61% ownership of Rivers and certainly we have the option to do so separately through our horse racing licenses. We will announce our plans soon.”

Hope is that in time, lawmakers in Illinois will also begin to regulate the internet casino gambling industry. There are already a huge number of great online casinos in Illinois, yet none are regulated by the state government. Regulation of this industry would bring in millions of dollars to the state each month.

The Illinois Gaming Board will schedule its next meeting on August 8th. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on the meeting after it takes place!