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Illinois casino revenue drops slightly

15 June 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois -- As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times: "The downdraft Illinois' anti-smoking law may have had on casino revenues appeared to ease up during the first three months of this year, an industry trade group said Wednesday.

"Revenues for Illinois' nine casinos fell by 9.3 percent from January through March of this year compared with the first quarter of 2008, the American Gaming Association reported.

"That rate of decline was the third-worst among the 12 states that have casino gambling, trailing industry leaders Nevada and New Jersey, which experienced revenue declines exceeding 14 percent for the period.

"But the drop in revenue wasn't as steep as what Illinois experienced between 2007 and 2008, when casinos had to transition their facilities into smoke-free areas.

"In a May report, the industry trade group showed casino revenues in Illinois dropped by a whopping 20.9 percent in 2008 compared with a year earlier, the sharpest decline in the country.

"The AGA attributed that decrease largely to the impact of the state's no-smoking policy, which made cigarette smoking off-limits in casinos and other public indoor areas beginning Jan. 1, 2008..."

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