Casino revenue drops in Aurora, Elgin for upward push of video gaming.


In the years after the Grand Victoria Casino came to Elgin, the city placed the Extra Update tens of millions of dollars generated by the on line casino in the direction of solving community and building troubles.


There had been talks to redevelop the riverfront, efforts to recognition on historic protection and plans to transform multi family homes to single-own family homes.

It is within this context and the author’s attitude that consists of time and grade arms-on enjoy inside the improvement and management of those types of investments, that this newsletter relates approaches in which to plot and prioritize a casino reinvestment strategy.

Cooked Goose

Although it might appear axiomatic not to prepare dinner the goose that lays the golden eggs, it’s miles excellent how little thought is oft times given to its on-going proper care and feeding. With the arrival of a brand new casino, builders/tribal councils, buyers & financiers are rightfully irritating to attain the rewards and there may be a bent now not to allocate an enough quantity of the profits in the direction of asset maintenance & enhancement.

Inasmuch as every undertaking has its very own specific set of circumstances, there aren’t any difficult and fast policies. For the maximum element, many of the primary industrial on line casino operators do no longer distribute net earnings as dividends to their stockholders, however alternatively reinvest them in upgrades to their present venues even as also looking for new locations. Some of those applications also are funded via extra debt contraptions and/or fairness inventory offerings. The reduced tax fees on company dividends will possibly shift the emphasis of those financing strategies, whilst nevertheless, be retaining the center business prudence of on-going reinvestment.


“In Elgin, we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve got had the riverboat over those previous few years,” stated Senior Management Analyst Laura Valdez-Wilson. “But we’re absolutely going to be at a crossroads arising quickly.”

Casino revenue has been declining. The metropolis added in about $14.6 million less in casino taxes in 2016 than it did ten years earlier, according to state information. Though Elgin brings in additional cash from smaller video gaming web sites, the revenue is a fragment of what the on line casino generates.

That fashion is reflected all through the Fox Valley.

For the Aurora, Elgin and Kane County governments that deliver in money from casinos, a decline in revenue has required officials to narrow down the projects they pick out to fund, which can be offered to other agencies or avenue or bridge paintings, some said.

For some smaller cities, which include Yorkville and Oswego, video playing has supposed a new source of money inside the nearly 5 years since Illinois began permitting certified corporations to install gaming machines. But many officers stated it hasn’t notably affected their operations.

“It’s in all likelihood just a little greater cushion,” Kendall County Treasurer Jill Ferko said.

In Aurora, tax money from both the on line casino and video gaming goes closer to paying down debt, financial development tasks, funds for town wards or other makes use of. It also goes toward offers for network companies, which includes the Aurora Historical Society, town advisory forums, at-threat adolescents applications or others, said interim Chief Financial Officer Stacey Hamling.

The fund the playing money goes into has been declining as the casino brings in less cash, and has persisted to decline no matter a few additional video playing tax revenue, she said.

In 2006, the city delivered in approximately $15.1 million from the on line casino, state records display. Ten years later, in 2016, the city added in approximately $7 million. That identical year, the town was given about $332,000 in the video playing tax cash, in keeping with state facts. Hamling said the town is projecting much less video gaming money this year.

Hamling said the decline in Aurora’s casino revenue can be suffering from the range of casinos throughout the country. People could likely opt to gamble toward home, she stated.

Because of the decline, the metropolis has cut again on the usage of gaming taxes to pay to update metropolis automobiles, Hamling stated. Officials look for projects that could be delayed, or paid for thru other sources. She said SciTech museum in downtown Aurora gets much less cash from the fund.

Hamling stated it’s too early to tell if video gaming taxes will make up for the misplaced casino money.

In Elgin, the Grand Victoria Casino is required to offer a set quantity of income, after taxes and fees, to Kane County. The casino additionally will pay Elgin to rent and for every admission, and Elgin collects on line casino taxes, officers said.

Kane County places the cash into the Grand Victoria Riverboat Fund, which goes closer to county applications — which include tuition reimbursement for county personnel, juvenile drug courtroom or recycling — and as offers to municipalities, nonprofits, school or park districts, or other entities, said Scott Berger, director of the county workplace of community reinvestment. The presents are designed to address the surroundings, education or economic improvement.

Kane County was spending approximately $five million a year at the software round 2013 and 2014, two years it added in much less than that and noticed sharp drops in sales from the previous yr, he stated.

Now, this system is drawing money from reserves, and officials plan to spend less each 12 months till the program turns into sustainable around 2021, Berger stated. That 12 months, the county expects to spend about $2.6 million on the program, according to county records.

The county receives cash from video gambling taxes, however, it would not go into the Riverboat Fund, Berger stated. Joe Onzick, government director of the county finance department, stated in an e mail the video gaming money is going in the direction of capital initiatives.

While it’s far “developing and actually appreciated,” it money owed for only a fraction of the undertaking fund, Ozick stated.

Casino money has been declining in Elgin on the grounds that 2001, and has dropped drastically in latest years, Valdez-Wilson said. The city brought in a total of about $15.Four million in casino and video gaming cash in 2012, in step with city information. That quantity dropped to about $11 million in 2016.

The town is planning to get approximately $2 hundred,000 from video gaming this 12 months, Valdez-Wilson stated. Though she said any additional sales is helpful, that money quantities to roughly one recent roofing task.

The money goes closer to road and bridge projects, rehabilitation initiatives and upkeep for city-owned homes. Using gambling cash for positive types of projects has intended the town doesn’t have to improve taxes for that sort of paintings, she said.

Where the town once ought to fund a spread of initiatives, officials should now prioritize, Valdez-Wilson stated.

“We had an extra degree of flexibility in announcing sure to all styles of initiatives that were coming in while we had been receiving $30 million in (gambling revenue),” she said.

Berger speculated the decline in revenue from the Elgin casino may be the end result of a national smoking ban or due to a country tax alternate that affected casinos’ income. The Rivers Casino east on I-90 from the Grand Victoria may want to have created opposition, or the recession may be to blame, he stated.

More these days, it is able to have been the boom in video gambling, he said. For example, the casino draws patrons from towns which include Rockford, which now has video gaming websites, he stated.

Video gambling earnings are taxed at 30 percent, after payouts. That cash is divided among the kingdom, which receives five-sixths, and neighborhood governments, which get one-6th. The last cash is divided between the operators of video playing terminals and the establishments that house the terminals.

In Yorkville, that translated to nearly $94,900 for the metropolis in 2016, country records display. The money goes into the city’s preferred fund, in which it helps departments including police, management, and streets, and sanitation said Yorkville Finance Director Rob Fredrickson.

The metropolis would not be devastated if it misplaced the video gaming money, however additional cash is constantly beneficial, he stated.

In Oswego, village clerk Tina Touchette said video gaming revenue hasn’t had a considerable effect on the village. Last 12 months, the village brought in greater than $82,800, in line with nation facts. But she said allowing video gaming has helped organizations stay open inside the village, and was authorized with the notion it would help all through the recession.