SPRINGFIELD - As the economy continues to suffer, Illinoisans continue to lose less money at the state's casinos, a new report shows.
A monthly report about gambling at Illinois casinos shows people spent about 5.6 percent less in August, compared to the same month last year, and the boats admitted about 8.7 percent fewer people this August, compared to 2009.
That ultimately means fewer tax dollars for the state's struggling budget.
While casinos continue to see fewer gamblers, the declines aren't quite as steep as in 2008, when the boats lost 20 percent of their receipts in one year.
Illinois Casino Gaming Director Tom Swoik said 2008 saw steep drops because of the state's new smoking ban, and the casinos have yet to recover.
"But the failing economy has kicked in and has just added onto the losses," Swoik said.
Illinois isn't alone in its gambling troubles, records from other states show.
Iowa casinos lost about 4.7 percent of its receipts last month over August of last year. Indiana lost about 1 percent in the same time period. However, Missouri casinos have seen a gain of about 3 percent from its previous fiscal year so far.
The downward trend in gambling comes as lawmakers could consider in November a plan to add slot machines to Illinois horse racing tracks. The plan has been around for years but has never been approved.