Tom Swoik, exectutive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, says gambling in Illinois has become far too saturated, and measures need to be taken to limit expansion.
Casino Queen General Manager Jeff Watson was not available for comment. But the leader of the state’s casino association, Tom Swoik, said the proliferation of video gambling does not attract new customers or generate new gambling dollars, just more places for gamblers to place their bets.
“We’re not creating any new gamers, we’re just moving them around from one location to another,” said Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association. “They don’t go to casinos anymore. They just go down the street.”
Swoik said the additional 20,000 video gambling machines in Illinois is the equivalent of 17 additional casinos. In the past year, Illinois added one new casino, in Des Plaines.
Another issue is that these video gambling machines pay a 30 percent flat tax, while casinos pay a graduated tax of 15 percent to 50 percent. Swoik said that as video gambling increases, the state’s ability to generate revenue in the casinos becomes more difficult as less tax revenue is available.
Bellville News-Democrat, “Don’t Bet on More Gambling Dollars,” October 2, 2015