The general manager of Rivers Casino, Bill Keena has expressed satisfaction over the performance of the casino during the past one year, since it started its activities in Des Plaines. It is at the top and has surprised everyone by crossing the expectations of Des Plaines city leaders and the management too. Keena said that the number of visitors have touched 3.8 million @ 320,000 in a month whereas it was 1.4 million in the case of Hollywood casino and Grand Victoria could attract only 1.7 million during the past twelve months. Rivers has penetrated into the visitors take of Illinois casinos too. As regards the revenues, the casino has earned $393 million during the first year, as compared to the figures of roughly $227 million by Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin and Hollywood Casino in Aurora making approx $160 million. Keena added that $129 million has been paid by Rivers towards gambling taxes to the state. The casino claimed a bigger market share than the Indiana properties, he continued.
Dorothy Wisniewski, the Finance Director said that Des Plaines received $24 million from the casino towards wagering and admission taxes between July 2011 and June 2012 that excludes taxes on account of food and beverage. An amount of $10 million must be paid for 30 years by the city to the state as per the deal that has landed Des Plaines the tenth license. Forty percent of the remaining revenues must be shared with ten disadvantaged communities. In view of the same, Des Plaines transferred $4.7 million to the state and gave away checks worth $2.5 million to ten communities, out of the funds of $10.8 million that it received between July and Dec, 31, 2011. As such, Des Plains would be left with $3.7 million for 2013 to overcome floods, rebuild infrastructure and reduce debt load of $62.5 million of the city. Keen pleasingly said that the casino has played a major role to boost the local economy through 1,400 full-time jobs out of which ninety one percent go to the Illinois residents. It has also contributed greatly to the charitable organizations and local vendors.
Keena said that there are some negative aspects too, e.g. the casino responded to 232 fire-related calls and 1,467 police related calls from Aug, 1to June, 30, 2011. Now it plans to have its own emergency medical services to relieve the citys police and fire departments. Approval of the state is being sought for the same. Four EMTs are also expected to come up within the next few months to handle first aid & basic treatments without the need of hospitalization and enter medical related data into the computer & sign patients releases as well, said Keena. He continued that they want to be self dependent up to the maximum.
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