Illinois is betting a big part of its financial future on hopes of becoming the gambling capital of the Midwest. As that unfolds, keep an eye on what neighboring states are doing, which will present a major challenge to the state’s lofty revenue expectations.

Mega gambling resort proposed for Beloit WI. Source:

At the top of the list is a proposed monster — a $400 million casino-resort in Beloit, Wisconsin, just across the border north of Rockford. It’s not a sure thing yet, but the Indian tribe sponsoring it is optimistic and moving ahead with little concern about what Illinois is doing.

The Bellevile News-Democrat last month published a nice summary of other, aggressive steps to expand gambling already underway in neighboring states.

We showed you the numbers earlier on how Illinois gambling is already approaching saturation and cannibalizing its own revenue. A guest article in the Chicago Tribune spelled out why Illinois is making a bad bet based on experience in other states. ProPublica did the same earlier.

Take the under.

-Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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11 months ago

Yeah, visiting an Indian casino in Wisconsin is like a day trip out of state. And visiting a casino in Rockford will depressing…as visiting a casino in Rockford. Total fail on this idea. IL really is the laughing stock of the surrounding states. But Orange Man Bad.

Mark m
10 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

I know this is hardly original input, but obtaining additional public revenue through gambling, especially when casinos proliferate to be a daily temptation, can’t possibly be a net positive to the public disc given the social costs. A Canadian Broadcasting documentary outlined the insidious nature of current slot machines, designed to give a player an additional occasional win but also designed to financially crush gamblers who stay at these machines any length of time. I don’t come from a religious perspective or a high handed moral view. But just who bears the costs of the lives that are ruined? I… Read more »

10 months ago
Reply to  Mark m

I live near Rivers and I walked in there some with buddies on a Friday night a few years back. $50 minimum card tables and the people sitting at those tables certainly didn’t have the money to be betting that much at a time. It was…dare I say… a trashy place of degenerates gambling away their social security checks, pension, retirements and an occasional pay day loan. Legislators know exactly what they are doing when the legalize casinos in IL. And they don’t even care. And realistically, Rivers in Des Plaines takes the lionshare of any casino revenue in the… Read more »