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July 3, 2024

Cathy Sagle

Video gaming has already brought in nearly $428 million for the state this year, but getting even more out of it is pivotal to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s record-setting $53.1 billion budget that started July 1.

Illinois’ video gaming tax just got a 1% bump expected to bring in an additional $35 million for the state. In 2023 alone, video gaming generated $900 million in state and local tax dollars. Now 2024 is outpacing that number through May, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.

2024 Illinois video gaming revenue outpacing 2023

Comparison between tax revenue generated from January to May in 2023 and 2024 by video gambling.


The state’s share of the winnings is only a fraction of the amount Illinoisans wager. In 2023, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported over $2.8 billion in net terminal income, the amount Illinoisans lost playing at gaming terminals, up from $485.4 million in 2014.

These are not the video gaming machines found in casinos: they are in neighborhood restaurants and bars throughout the state. One of the biggest factors in the growing dollars is the ease of access to machines. In 2014, there were 17,467 video gaming terminals in Illinois. A decade later, the total has climbed to 45,987.

Even though it’s a money maker, increasing the access to video gaming also increases the social cost tied to problematic gambling. Plus, just bringing in more money fixes nothing if state lawmakers can’t shake their addiction to spending.

State lawmakers went $410 million over what Pritzker asked for in new spending for a total state budget of $53.1 billion that requires $1.1 billion in new taxes to balance. Springfield has no shortage of problem gamblers: they risk taxpayers leaving because they play without limits.