N G I S C Chicago Meeting, May 20, 1998



CHAIRMAN JAMES: Adrienne Levatino.

MS. LEVATINO: Thank you. My name is Adrienne Levatino and I'm an executive director of Illinois Casino Gaming Association and I am proud to be here today, on behalf of our industry and its 10,000 employees. Riverboat gaming, simply put, is an industry that has exceeded expectations and surpassed its promises.

Since our first licensee set sail in September of 1991, the gaming tax payments alone have benefited the state of Illinois by $1.3 billion and have produced nearly $400 million in revenues for local governments. The industry's cumulative payroll exceeds $1.15 billion and we have provided employee benefits at a cost of more than a quarter of a billion dollars. We have purchased half a billion dollars in goods and services from local vendors and have made capital investments exceeding $686 million.

A report was recently prepared by the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois for the Illinois Gaming Board. The report traced the impact of expenditures by gaming patrons on a number of key economic indicators. It found that riverboat casino gaming generated directly and indirectly about $1.2 billion worth of output in the Illinois economy in 1995. Over 17,000 jobs were associated with our industry and the income generated amounted to almost $780 million. Total tax revenues associated with the industry's activity amounted to $330 million.

Our executives and employees are generous volunteers in their communities and our industry generously supports a wide range of civic and charitable contributions. We also on our own voluntary without any state legal requirements, established early on a responsible gaming program funded entirely by the riverboat gaming industry. The program has been recognized and complimented by the National Council on Problem Gambling.

The state originally sanctioned riverboat gaming as a means to stimulate economies of river towns which had been abandoned by the other industries. We have indeed been a powerful economic engine in our communities, driving investment and revitalizing local economies. We have most importantly created business partners, people who have learned new jobs and new life skills, people who have invested in 401(k) plans with us, people who have built businesses and realized dreams as a result of our presence in their communities. We are proud of our accomplishments and successes and we have worked hard for them. Casino operators, casino investors and casino employees all have contributed to a positive resurgence of local pride and local economy and have done which seemed nearly impossible in this great prairie state only a decade ago, breathed new life into dying towns.


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