Chicago, ILL. – The Alton Belle casino is one of four riverboats in Illinois trying to reduce the hours they are open because of higher state gambling taxes that went into effect July first.
The casinos plan to ask for the reduced hours today (Friday) during a meeting of the Illinois Gaming Board.
Illinois Casino Gaming Association executive director Tom Swoik says owners of the casinos are trying to reduce costs as much as they possibly can.
The Legislature this spring approved sharp increases in casino taxes to help solve a nearly $5 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers voted to raise taxes on riverboat casinos as high as 70% to pump $200 million in cash into the state treasury. The other casinos that want to change their hours are in the Chicago suburbs (Empress Casino and Harrah's Casino in Joliet, Hollywood Casino in Aurora).
According to the Alton Belle's website, the 23,000 square foot casino is currently open from 8am-6am every day of the week. It features 988 slots, 28 table games and three restaurants.