Even as the state gears up for a massive expansion of casino gaming that largely excludes Springfield, the capital city remains a juggernaut when it comes to video gaming. According to data from the ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD, Springfield machines generated about $33.7 million in income in fiscal year 2019, which ended on June 30. This ranked only second to only Rockford, which generated about $35.2 million.

In total, about $409.3 million was wagered on Springfield machines, resulting in about $375.5 million in winnings.
Video gaming has exploded across the state since it began in 2012, cutting into the business of brick-and-mortar casinos while becoming a welcome revenue source for the state and several municipalities.

As of July 1, the tax on net terminal income increased from 30 percent to 33 percent, with five-sixths going to the state and one-sixth to local governments. In Springfield, tax revenue from the machines amounts to about $1.7 million in fiscal year 2019.

The capital city also boasts the most video gaming terminals of any city in the state with 641, far ahead of second place Rockford, which had 486.

Between July 2018 and June 2019, the number of video gaming terminals across the state has increased from 29,440 to 32,033. In that year, the state generated about $1.6 billion in net terminal income, resulting in nearly $400 million in tax revenue for the state and about $80 million for local governments.

The pace of video gaming terminal proliferation could soon speed up given provisions in the state’s gambling expansion package that increase the maximum number allowed in an establishment from five to six. That measure was added partially to offset concerns with the tax increase.

Also tucked into the 716-page bill are provisions that allow for up to 50 video gaming terminals on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in the beer tents during the scheduled dates of the fair.

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said in June that the provision was added after talks of a Springfield casino fizzled, with the proceeds to be used for capital improvements and the harness racing fund.

I guess we will have to start saying, Viva Illinois!

Video gaming revenue, 2019:
Rockford, $35.2 million
Springfield, $33.7
Decatur, $30.4
Waukegan, $26.7
Loves Park, $22.8
Video gaming terminals, 2019
Springfield, 641
Rockford, 486
Decatur, 443
Joliet, 379
Lake County, 302