Every month, the Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) meets to discuss any changes in the Illinois gaming market and issue licensing and disciplinary decisions. What follows is a repost of the notes by our friends at Fox Rothschild in their “At Stake” Newsletter. You can also find official IGB meeting minutes on the IGB website. The minutes of each IGB meeting are typically posted following the next scheduled meeting of the Board.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its December monthly meeting in Chicago on Thursday, December 19.
All members were present and the meeting began with the approval of last month’s meeting minutes and continued with the Chairman’s opening comments. In his comments, Chairman Schmadeke wished everyone a happy holiday and said that we should expect the IGB to be very active in 2020.
The meeting continued with the Administrator’s comments. Administrator Fruchter said that for the last six months the staff has been very busy implementing the new expansion amendments. In regard to video gaming, he reported that there are 33,453 video gaming terminals operating in 7,241 locations within Illinois. The Administrator also reported that the G2S conversion will be complete as of tomorrow (December 20, 2019) and we will be the first jurisdiction fully operational under G2S. The video gaming rules that were issued back in August 2019 went into effect after Tuesday’s JCAR meeting. Also in effect are the independent test lab rules. Finally, the Administrator reported that the staff is investigating the newly submitted casino and racino applications.
Next, Eric Poders, speaking on behalf of The Horseman’s Voice, addressed the Board during the public commentary section. He was suggesting that the IGB and the Racing Board should be combined in order to better and more efficiently utilize resources.
The Board then discussed new rule making. First, the Administrator said that there will be a new code of conduct for staff that will be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office for First Notice. While no specifics were provided as to the content, these rules will be available for comment once published in the Illinois Register. We will monitor and email once published.
The Administrator then discussed the sports wagering rules that are being submitted as both emergency rules (effective immediately for 150 days) and regular proposed rules (which allow for public comment and JCAR review). There will be two phases of the rules. Phase 1 rules, which are being filed as emergency, address the application and license process and also the disciplinary process. Phase 2 rules, which will be released in early 2020, will govern the conduct of the wagering operations. Phase 1 rules will allow for temporary operating permits to streamline industry operations. The rules and applications are currently available on the IGB’s website.
Finally the Administrator informed the IGB that it was allowing more time for public comment on the Form Use Agreement, prompting the IGB to rescind its prior draft of this form. The IGB extended the comment period until January 15, 2020.
The casino meeting began with the Board reviewing supplier licensee items and approving the license renewal of Ainsworth Game Technology, Inc., Bally Gaming, Inc., JCM American Corporation, and Patriot Gaming & Electronics, Inc.
Next, the Board approved Marvin Javier for his role as IT Manager of Alton Casino, LLC d/b/a Argosy Casino Alton, and Michael Johnson for his role as Internal Auditor of Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino-Des Plaines.
The Board moved to deny seven occupational licensees and approve 67 Level 2 and 142 Level 3 licenses.
The Board also renewed the occupational licensees that that were up for renewal this month for those who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements.
The Board issued two disciplinary complaints against two suppliers, JCM and Ainsworth. Both complaints alleged the late submission of renewal and annual update information and each supplier was fined $5000.
This concluded the Casino portion of the meeting.
The video gaming session began with the Board voting to approve the supplier license renewal of Illinois Rewards, Inc.
Next, the Board approved the initial terminal operator licenses of 777 Gaming, LLC, LS Gaming, LLC. With no explanation the Board denied an initial terminal operator license to O’Glavin Holdings Co.
The meeting then continued with the Board granting a number of terminal operator license renewals:
- Angelle & Green Gaming LLC (November)
- Jackpot Video Gaming Inc (December)
- Springfield Gaming, LLC (December)
- Sunrise Gaming, LLC (December)
The terminal hander, technician and location licensees who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements were also renewed. The Board voted to issue a notice of nonrenewal to SS Friendly Market IV Inc. d/b/a SS Friendly Market IV.
The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to 70 terminal handlers, one terminal technician and 109 video gaming locations.
The Board also denied the applications the following six locations:
- The Illinois Lady LLC d/b/a Blue Fish Café
- JNT Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Berryfield Café
- Ski-Four, Inc. d/b/a Neoga IGA
- Tower Gas Inc. d/b/a Tower BP
- Ezzel And Brothers Corporation d/b/a Hamden’s
- AJ Ventures II LLC d/b/a Jewel’s 67
The Board received five requests for a hearing this month:
- The first request was from a handler who had been denied for failure to disclose information. He reapplied and fully disclosed all information. The IGB rescinded the denial, granted his license and denied the hearing request.
- Nicholas Rose Holding Corporation d/b/a Taylor Street Deli had PSIC with a felony. The location stated that the individual is not a PSIC. Hearing request granted.
- Winnie’s Café Inc. d/b/a Winnie’s Café had a 20% owner with allegedly questionable associations. The location said it disassociated from that individual and he no longer has ownership. The location may reapply and its hearing request was denied.
- Debra Wells d/b/a Deb’s Red Rose allegedly provided misleading information during its investigation. Hearing request denied.
- Trudy’s Café LLC (Sauk Village) and Trudy’s Café LLC (Midlothian) had both hearing requests granted.
The IGB approved two requests to reapply for Voice Enterprises. LLC d/b/a SanDDy’s and Gianni’s Pizzeria & Italian Market, LLC d/b/a Gianni’s Pizzeria & Italian Market.
The IGB issued four Orders of Disassociations:
- Gold Rush Amusements, Inc. d/b/a Gold Rush Gaming must disassociate from Dan Gerardi and Ron Bolger due to alleged unsuitable associations;
- J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC and Lucky Street Gaming LLC must disassociate from Cassandra Hilldebrant (a sales agent) because she has an alleged conviction; and
- Illinois Gaming Systems, LLC must disassociate from Angeitis Marcos (a sales agent) for alleged unsuitable associations.
Lastly, the Board granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlements and dismiss the complaints when appropriate in the following matters:
- Southern Illinois Riverboat/Casino Cruises, LLC d/b/a Harrah’s Metropolis Casino (Harrah’s) was issued a complaint for allegedly having unapproved electronic gaming devices in the casino and was fined $300,000. The settlement proposed is a fine of $210,000;
- AGS, LLC was issued a complaint for allegedly placing the unapproved games at Harrah’s and fined $100,000. The settlement proposed is a fine of $50,000;
- A handler who was denied for submitting incomplete information will have the complaint withdrawn and be permitted to reapply.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Happy holidays and see you in 2020!