Though Illinois has fewer casinos than other states, it’s on track to exceed some states in terms of the number of gambling machines it offers.
The casino and gambling bill passed by the General Assembly this weekend could be a giant leap forward for gaming in Illinois.
There are already 10 casinos in Illinois that are all overseen by the Illinois Gaming Board, and each of those has 1,200 positions each, according to Gene O’Shea, who runs the board’s self-exclusion for problem gamblers. On the video gambling side there are 6,851 locations, O’Shea said, which is according to figures from April. There’s a total number of 31,091 machines at those locations.
The Chicago casino approved by the legislature would allow for 4,000 gaming positions — and the video gambling spots could add an extra slot or other machine to their establishment, hiking the total number of machines in the state.
It’s not clear where Chicago’s casino would be built. Potential sites previously mentioned include the old Michael Reese Hospital, McCormick Place and the Old Main Post Office.
Though Illinois has fewer casinos than other states, it’s on track to exceed some states in terms of the number of gambling machines it offers. The bill passed by lawmakers this weekend just needs the governor’s signature to become law.
Michigan has two types of casinos — commercial casinos, of which there are three in Detroit, and tribal casinos, of which there are 24 and they are regulated by the federal government. The gaming positions at the commercial casinos aren’t publicly reported, Mary Kay Bean, the spokeswoman of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said.
For the tribal casinos there are 22,280 Class III machines, which are similar to slot machines.
Wisconsin also has 27 gaming sites according to the American Gaming Association, though the breakdown of gaming positions was not listed in their annual report on gaming’s national impact.
Indiana has 13 casinos with a total of 18,207 electronic gambling devices for the state — the total table gambling positions for Illinois’ neighbor is 5,054 according to figures from the Indiana Gaming Commission’s 2018 annual report.
Illinois will still trail Nevada with its 221 gaming locations — that figure is also from the American Gaming Association. Nevada was also home in 2018 to more than 163,000 slot machines and mobile gaming devices, according to the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Contributing: Jon Seidel