Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Illinois Casinos Could Dampen Indiana Tax Revenues

Illinois  is desperate for cash, and it's turning to gambling to close its huge budget gap. The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation that would allow 5 new casinos, including a new casino for Chicago, two casinos for the Chicago suburbs and two downstate casinos for Rockford and Danville. The state anticipates raising $1.5 billion in upfront licensing fees and another $500 million annually in additional gaming revenues. Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a casino for the City of Chicago his top legislative priority. Gov. Pat Quick supports a Chicago casino but expressed disapproval of the expansion of casinos to other areas of the state.

Indiana, like Illinois, has become increasingly dependent on gaming revenues generated from riverboat casinos. Indiana's casinos in northwest Indiana draw many visitors from neighboring Illinois, but those casinos have been hurt by new casinos in neighboring Michigan. Two years ago, Ohio approved casinos for its major cities, including Cincinnati, which is scheduled to open next year. A new casino on the Illinois-Indiana state line in Danville could draw even more gaming revenues away from Indiana. Indiana has 11 riverboats casinos and 2 racinos (slots only) at horse race tracks in Anderson and Shelbyville. Both racinos have been struggling financially. The Indiana Live racino in Shelbyville recently filed for bankruptcy protection.


Cato said...

Ah, Freedom. I love it. To keep up pace, Indiana needs to legalize sports betting at its casinos and legalize drugs across the state.

Not only will we get drug revenue, we can fire every cop, prosecutor, judge and jailer involved in prohibition, freeing up more billions for the state coffers.

Indiana also needs to legalize Sunday sales. We're a laughingstock for having that stupid law on the books.

guy77money said...

You forgot to mention that Ohio has legalized casinos and it will not be long before there is one in Cincinnati. Throw in a possible river boat or casino in Louisville and there will be no incentive for our neighbors from out of state (also people living on the border) to come to Indiana to spend their money.

Advance Indiana said...

I mention the Cincinnati casino in the second paragraph.

varangianguard said...

Work seems to be stopped in Cincinnati just now. Some catfight with one group or another.