Ill. casinos afraid slots at tracks would cannibalize their revenue
Casinos in Illinois are hoping the bill currently before the governor that would legalize slots at racetracks does not pass as they fear the development of “racinos” could impact the revenues for casinos, reports St. Louis Today.
“When the 10th casino license opened (in northern Illinois), the four northern casinos’ revenues went down 12 percent. The closest casino is down 24 percent,” noted Tom Swoik of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which opposes slots at the tracks. “This will have even more of a cannibalization effect. It’s just going to take more money away from the existing casinos, and there’s not going to be that much of a net gain to the state.”
Brian Zander, president of Fairmont race track, does not believe slots at tracks would cause any serious impact to casinos as they would draw in local gamblers, not new or incoming people who would likely still visit the casino. The addition of slots to the track would allow a boost in purses.
The article says: “Proponents say the measure would rescue the flailing Illinois horse racing industry by fattening purses to attract big-name horses and by spurring new public interest in the tracks, while raising from $350 million to $1 billion a year or more for the state in gambling taxes.”