August was the first full month of business for Rivers Casino, which opened in Des Plaines in late July. The casino generated the largest gaming revenue amongst all Illinois casinos with $34 million. Rivers Casino also had more than 414,000 visitors, almost twice the amount of combined visits at Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrah’s Joliet Casino.
Joliet casino taxes for August were $1.7 million, compared to $1.9 million in August 2010. But even when the impact on city revenues was larger than expected, city officials say they have anticipated drops in gaming revenue, and add that so far this year casino taxes have exceeded expectations.
“For the month, we were about $135,000 short. For the year, we’re still about $500,000 to the good.” said Kenneth Mihelich, Joliet’s budget director.
Revenue at all other nine Illinois casinos decreased in August compared to last year, however, River Casino did so well that statewide gaming revenue jumped 18% to nearly $137 million. The largest drop was reported at Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, were revenue went down 24% ($18.5 million).