EAST PEORIA — The parent company of the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino laid off about 3 percent of its employees in East Peoria this week, citing declining revenue.
The cuts amount to about 18 full- and part-time employees, though the number could change depending on whether offers for other positions at the properties are accepted.
David Strow, a spokesman for Nevada-based Boyd Gaming Corporation, said the decision to eliminate positions came as part of a regular review of operations.
"Like any other business, we periodically review our operations to bring them in line with our revenue, and that's what's happening here," Strow said. "It was not concentrated in one particular area, it was across the operation."
Boyd Gaming owns and operates 24 gaming entertainment properties in seven states, including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
Riverboat casinos in Illinois have reported steadily declining revenue since the state legalized video gaming machines in bars, restaurants and cafes. The machines first became operational in the fall of 2012 and have since grown to number more than 23,000 around the state.
Those machines have infused the businesses that house them — each establishment can have up to five terminals — and local governments that never previously benefited from riverboat casino taxes with additional revenue.
But riverboat casinos have experienced a significant drop in revenue — and the amount of taxes those operations pay to the state and the local governments that host them has followed suit.
In Peoria, video gaming tax revenue for the city grew to nearly half a million dollars in 2016, but the city's riverboat gaming tax income declined more than $1 million in 2016 when compared with the last year before the first video terminals became operational.
East Peoria's video gaming income has not grown at the same pace as Peoria, with just less than $175,000 in tax revenue generated in fiscal year 2016, giving East Peoria an even larger gap.
Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.