Par-A-Dice Casino in Peoria has announced announced they are laying off employees amidst a protracted slump in business.
Boyd Gaming, the casino operator, said the legalization of video gaming statewide has taken business away from riverboat revenue.
“This isn’t an issue that just Para-A-Dice is dealing with, every other casino operator in the state has been dealing with the same protracted decline in business, ” David Strow, Vice President, Corporate Communications at Boyd Gaming, said.
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Just under 40 Par-A-Dice employees will be affected by the layoffs.
“Obviously this is a pretty severe impact on our business and has left us with really no choice other than to find ways to try and reduce our expenses and that was the result of what happened yesterday,” Strow said.
Since video gaming machines were introduced in 2012, the casino industry has seen about 22,000 of these machines established across the state, and within the central Illinois region that Para-A-Dice serves about 4,000 machines now in operation.
“That is the equivalent of three Para-A-Dice sized casinos and that is really having a very severe and ongoing impact on our business,” Strow said.
Strow says annual gaming revenues are down about $26 million, and annual visitation has declined by nearly a quarter of a million people in 3 years.
“This outcome was a direct result of the expansion of video gaming we’ve seen across the state of Illinois really for the last three years,” Strow said.
With video gaming showing no sign of slowing down, gaming machines are likely to continue redirect business away from Para-A-Dice, Strow said.