Joliet casinos continue revenue slide
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org April 10, 2012 5:48PM
Joliet Casino Taxes
The city of Joliet budget anticipated a $500,000 decline in casino taxes for all of 2012.
Year-to-Date Decline: $548,000
January-March 2012 Taxes: $5,220,000
January-March 2011 Taxes: $5,768,000
March 2012 Taxes: $1,867,000
March 2011 Taxes: $2,050,000
Updated: May 12, 2012 8:08AM
JOLIET — The drop in Joliet casino taxes in the first three months of the year has already surpassed what the city forecast at the start of 2012.
Local casino revenues continued to fall in March, meaning the city got less money, too.
Joliet gambling taxes are down $548,000 through March. The city made its budget with a forecast that gambling taxes would fall by $500,000 for all of 2012.
“It’s troubling,” Councilman Michael Turk, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said. “Hopefully, this will turn around. We’re early in the year.”
Turk said that by midyear the council will have to take a close look at how the casino trends are affecting the city budget if gambling taxes keep falling.
The story line for March remained the same as it has since the Rivers Casino opened in Des Plaines last summer. The new casino is doing well, increasing the amount of gambling taxes statewide but cutting deeply into the business at the four older casinos in the Chicago region.
Harrah’s Joliet and Hollywood Joliet actually did relatively well in March compared to the casinos in Aurora and Elgin.
Gambling revenue at Harrah’s was down 6.8 percent from March 2011 at $18.6 million. At Hollywood Joliet, revenue was down 8.8 percent from the same month a year ago at $13.2 million.
The Grand Victoria in Elgin had a 22.7 percent drop in gambling revenue at $20.1 million. Meanwhile, Hollywood Aurora had a 14.5 percent decline at $13.9 million.
Rivers Casino has been the top money-maker in the state since it opened and generated $34.8 million in March.
Statewide, casino revenue was up 20.7 percent thanks to Rivers Casino and gains at casinos in Rock Island, Metropolis and East St. Louis. But six of the 10 casinos in Illinois generated less money than in March 2011.