Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
HOUSE
C.D. Davidsmeyer, Co-Chair
SENATE
Heather Steans, Co-Chair
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September Monthly Briefing
THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON FY 2020 GAMING STATISTICS
Eric Noggle, Senior Analyst

Looking at State-related tax revenues generated from (gaming related) sources, gaming revenues fell 13.4% in FY 2020 from $1.4 billion to $1.2 billion. This decline is in large part due to the suspension of video gaming and casino operations between March 16th and June 30th, which thereby prevented any revenues from being generated from these sources during this time period. Although this suspension has been since lifted, gaming has only returned on a limited basis and it remains unclear how long these limitations will last. Even with the resumption of wagering, it is expected that the ramifications of the pandemic on public confidence will persist for some time.

RECREATIONAL CANNABIS
Benjamin L. Varner, Senior Analyst and Economic Specialist

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (P.A. 101-0027) legalized and regulated the production, consumption, and sale of cannabis for recreational purposes in Illinois. The sale of recreational cannabis began on January 1, 2020. Sales were strong out of the gate with almost $40 million in the first month. Sales were somewhat dampened during the spring likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting economic activity, but sales have picked up as the summer has come to an end. The latest monthly figures for August from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation had total sales of $64.0 million. This amount was spent on 1,359,311 items with $46.7 million (73%) being bought by Illinois residents and $17.2 million (27%) from people outside the State. Based on receipts at the Comptroller’s office, September’s sales are expected to be about 2% higher than August when they are announced.

REVENUE: SEPTEMBER REVENUES DROP DUE TO WEAK FEDERAL SOURCES—ECONOMIC SOURCES AND TRANFERS MANAGE TO POST MEAGER GAINS
Jim Muschinske, Revenue Manager

Base September general funds revenues fell $212 million overall. A sizable $259 million drop in federal sources more than offset a small combined net gain from income and sales tax receipts. Other state sources experienced a mixed performance, while transfers contributed a small gain. September had one more receipting day than the prior year.
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Despite the pandemic and related economic uncertainty it has caused, through the first quarter of FY 2021, base receipts are up $839 million. The growth reflects the surge in July income tax receipts related to the filing deadline extension. Through September, combined net income tax receipts are up by $1.509 billion. While net sales taxes are up only $10 million, that scant gain serves to demonstrate the consumer’s recovery efforts from COVID driven economic disruptions.