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Casino revenues down in 2012


Elgin’s Grand Victoria

2012 revenue:
$212 million

2011 revenue:
$257 million

Down: $45 million, or 17.5 percent

Illinois statewide

2012 revenue:
$1.64 billion

2011 revenue:
$1.48 million

Up: $162 million,
or 10.9 percent

Updated: February 16, 2013 6:15AM

Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino continued to see revenue drop in 2012, but gambling revenue statewide shot up with the Des Plaines casino in operation for a full year for the first time.

Every Chicago-area casino experienced a decline in gambling revenue except for Des Plaines, which generated twice as much money as the nearest competition.

The impact of the changed marketplace since the Des Plaines casino was added in summer 2011 means the state saw an 18.8 percent increase in its casino taxes in 2012.

But the Grand Victoria in 2012 generated revenue of $212 million, compared with $257 million the previous year, a 17.5 percent drop.

Harrah’s Casino Joliet generated $223.4 million in casino revenue in 2012, a 5 percent drop from last year.

Hollywood Joliet took in $141.5 million, which was a 3.2 percent drop.

The impact of the Des Plaines casino was seen only in the Chicago market. Four of the five other casinos in Illinois saw revenue growth in 2012.

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines generated nearly $417 million, up from $177 million in 2011 when it was open half a year.

Hollywood Casino Aurora took in nearly $152 million, compared with $173 million in 2011.

But at least one local casino manager is betting on a more stable year in 2013.

Gambling revenue at Hollywood Joliet Casino is not likely to increase this year, general manager Wayne Smith said. But, he added, “I think it’s going to be more stable.”

Hollywood is adding a nightclub in February. Smith said he believes business will become steadier after a full year of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines in business.

“Hopefully, the market will start to settle in place,” he said.

If so, stability could be short-lived. The Illinois Legislature this year again is expected to take up gaming expansion, which could put a casino in Chicago and others in the suburbs and downstate. Horse race tracks also could get slot machines.

Joliet officials have been focused on fighting a south suburban casino — which, they say, further would erode business for the two local casinos there.

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