The struggling economy has dealt a bad hand to the nation's usually robust gambling business, a downturn made even worse in Illinois, where the state's nearly year-old smoking ban has proved unhealthy to casinos.
Among those paying the steepest prices are local governments, charities and their clients, who have come to rely on gambling tax receipts.
The big gambling states-- Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi--are off 5 percent to 7 percent in casino revenue. But the picture is worst in Illinois, where casino revenue is down 20.3 percent this year.
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