Illinois gambling is suffering from a major problem: the size of its losses.
The Illinois Lotteries annual losses for the first quarter of 2016 are now $1.1 billion, up from $872 million in the same period last year.
That’s a bigger percentage of the state’s total losses, and it means that the Illinois State Gaming Commission (ISGC) is now the only agency in the country with a monopoly on making big gambling losses.ISGC chairman and CEO Chris Hays told the Illinois Business Journal in a recent interview that the commission is not only losing money, but it is also losing money on a regular basis.
“In my mind, the commission has a lot of control over how it spends that money and what it spends it on,” Hays said.
“So we are spending more than we can possibly spend on our gambling and on the gaming commission’s operating expenses.”ISGC is not the only gambling agency in Illinois.
Illinois Lotters Association (ILAAA) has also been experiencing massive losses for several years.
Its annual losses were $1 billion for the year ending in September 2016, and then it dropped to $819 million in January of this year.
The ILAAA, which is also part of the Illinois Association of Gaming Enforcement Agencies (IAGA), has been facing similar problems in recent years.
Last year, the Illinois Gaming Commission reported that its revenue had dropped by $3.6 million and that its losses were growing faster than the agency’s operating profit.
“It’s not surprising that the gaming industry is having a difficult time making money,” Hains said.
The ISGC has been forced to slash spending by $20 million since last year’s fourth quarter, and now it has had to increase the amount it is spending to cover its losses, which it has only been able to do with the help of state and local governments.
For example, Illinois Lotties operating expenses are $3 million lower than in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Hays.
This is because the agency has had a hard time meeting the increasing demand for its services, which have now become more expensive.
“We have to make some hard decisions on our operations,” Hys said.
Hays also added that the ILAAA has not been able the to find the money it needs to pay its staff.
The Illinioubs current budget of $3 billion was funded by a combination of taxes and fees that are currently being phased out.
However, Hays and Hays’ boss, Governor Bruce Rauner, are hoping to increase that to $4 billion over the next two years.
Rauner told the Tribune that Illinois Lotts budget is the highest it has been since 2010.
He also said that he is confident that his budget will be able to meet the needs of Illinois’ gaming industry.
“It’s just a matter of making sure that we get this money to the right place and that it can be used to make a difference,” he said.