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.
Happy Holidays! We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and remaining healthy. Before discussing the monthly IGB meeting, we would like to remind all video gaming Terminal Operators that you and your locations are now able to file the required annual Department of Justice registration. If you need any assistance or have any questions, please reach out.
The IGB held its webinar-based monthly meeting on December 17, 2020. Members present included Member Ramirez, Member Hayden, Member Garcia, and Chairman Schmadeke. The meeting began with the approval of the last month meeting’s minutes and the Chairman wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season.
The meeting then continued with the Administrator’s comments. Administrator Fruchter briefly addressed the state wide suspension of all in-person gambling activities in accordance with the statewide Tier 3 mitigation plan in the fight against COVID-19. The Administrator stated that until the State has deemed it safe to reopen, he encouraged all licensees to comply with state requirements. For more information regarding COVID-19 and the State of Illinois’ requirements, the Administrator encouraged visiting the websites of the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The Administrator then stated that online Sports Wagering remains live and explained the different types of Sports Wagering reports available on the IGB’s website; all wagering activity and completed events. We provided detail regarding the distinction between the reports in our November At Stake newsletter, but as an example if a bet is placed in December 2020 on the 2021 World Series it would be included on the all wagering activity report for December 2020, but not the completed December 2020 events report since the event outcome has not been determined.
Both Sports Wagering reports are available 45 days after the month’s end. As such, the October reports are currently available for review on the IGB’s website (https://www.igb.illinois.gov/SportsReports.aspx). The Administrator stated that there was $42.2 million in all wagering activity with approximately $6M in taxable revenue for Cook County.
Next the Administrator gave a report on the pending casino applications. In regard to the South Suburban and Waukegan applications, the Board had previously said it would hire an investment banker to review those proposals. The Administrator stated that the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for investment banking firms will open December 30, 2020 at noon. The RFP can be found by visiting the Bidbuy website (https://www.bidbuy.illinois.gov/bso/) and using the search term “casino.”
Lastly, the Administrator stated that the following are attentive IGB meeting dates for 2021:
- January 27, 2021
- March 10, 2021
- April 21, 2021
- June 9, 2021
- July 14, 2021
- September 14, 2021
- October 20, 2021
- December 8, 2021
Please note that there are no meetings scheduled for February, May, August, or November.
There were two speakers during the public commentary section.
The first speaker was Anita Bedell, Executive Director of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Additional Problems. Ms. Bedell expressed her disappointment in the Governor’s decision to extend his executive order allowing for the virtual registration for online gambling accounts and stated concerns regarding the ability to confirm the age of participants.
The second speaker was Dr. Sandra Bury, Mayor of the Village of Oak Lawn. Dr. Bury thanked the IGB for their work and briefly discussed the Oak Lawn amusement tax, also known as a “push tax,” in which a penny per push is taxed on video gaming terminal (“VGT”) plays. Dr. Bury stated that Terminal Operators (“TOs”) are not in compliance with the push tax and that the IGB’s silence has emboldened TOs. Dr. Bury stated that if TOs continue to ignore the push tax, the Village may issue temporary or permanent suspension of the local licenses. Dr. Bury failed to mentioned, however, that the ordinance is currently being challenged in court.
Proposed Rule 1800.321
The Administrator spoke briefly to discuss the proposed Video Gaming Rule 1800.321 regarding Sales Agents and Procurement of Use Agreement. The new section 1) requires a TO to disclose individual sales agents prior to them being able to procure use agreements 2) requires submission of sales agent information 30 days in advance of procuring any use agreement, and 3) requires the Administrator to approve or object within 30 days. If the Administrator takes no action within 30 days, that will be tanamount to an approval. The Administrator stated that this new rule allows the Administrator to object to or pause an individual’s involvement in the industry and would invalidate use agreements procured in a manner inconsistent with the proposed rule. The Board approved the First Notice Filing request.
The Casino meeting began with the Board approving the following Key Persons or Level 1 Occupational licensees related to owner’s licensees:
- Kyle Wainscott – Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino – Des Plaines;
- Shawn Harris – Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino – Des Plaines;
- Christina Mowry – Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino;
- Karin Brugler – Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino;
- David Handler – Alton Casino, LLC d/b/a Argosy Casino Alton, HC Aurora, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Aurora, HC Joliet, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet;
- Rafael Verde – HC Aurora, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Aurora, HC Joliet, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet; and
- Nicole Solaita – Des Plaines Development Limited Partnership d/b/a Harrah’s Joliet Casino, Southern Illinois Riverboat/Casino Cruises LLC d/b/a Harrah’s Metropolis Casino.
The Administrator approved six (6) Level 2 and five (5) Level 3 occupational licensees, and the renewal of the occupational licensees that that were up for renewal this month and who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements.
The Sports Wagering session began with the Administrator approving the Level 1 occupational licenses of Kyle Wainscott and Shawn Harris; both of Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino – Des Plaines.
Next, the Administrator approved thirteen (13) Level 2 occupational licensees, and the renewal of the occupational licensees that that were up for renewal this month and who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements.
The Video Gaming session began with the Administrator approving the renewal of the following Manufacturer, Distributor, Supplier, and Terminal Operator licenses:
- Illinois Rewards Inc.;
- Jackpot Video Gaming Inc.;
- Sunrise Gaming, LLC;
- 777 Gaming, LLC;
- Springfield Gaming, LLC; and
- LS Gaming, LLC.
Next, the terminal hander, technician, and location licensees which were up for renewal and provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements were renewed and one (1) notice of nonrenewal was issued.
The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to thirteen (13) terminal handlers and fifty-nine (59) video gaming locations and the denial of three (3) terminal handlers and the following twelve (12) locations, which includes denials for “statutory ineligibility” :
- Carver’s BBQ, Inc. d/b/a Carvers BBQ Inc.;
- Exodus Saloon LLC d/b/a Exodus Saloon LLC;
- Forks & Sticks, Inc. d/b/a Seven;
- Hiram Lewis d/b/a Hiram’s;
- JBH Petroleum & Foodmart Inc. d/b/a JBH Knoxville;
- Karmatic LLC d/b/a Pats Sports Bar and Grill;
- Solera Wines, Inc. d/b/a Solera Wines.;
- Winnie’s Café, Inc. d/b/a Winnie’s Café, Inc.;
- Multani Mart LLC d/b/a Alexis Mart;
- Paulina’s Café & Deli, Inc. d/b/a Paulinas Café & Deli Inc.; and
- The Store Unlimited, LLC d/b/a The Store Unlimited.
The Board received four (4) requests for a hearing this month from the following establishments:
- 1948 Concepts LLC, d/b/a 18 West Bar & Grill;
- Green Point Ventures Inc. d/b/a Mobil;
- SBBL, LLC d/b/a Bauer House; and
- Bigfoot Gaming LLC d/b/a Bigfoot Gaming LLC.
The Administrator rescinded the denial, granted a license, and denied the hearing request as moot for 1948 Concepts LLC, d/b/a 18 West Bar & Grill, Green Point Ventures Inc. d/b/a Mobil, SBBL, LLC d/b/a Bauer House.
The hearing request for Bigfoot Gaming LLC d/b/a Bigfoot Gaming LLC was denied.
Before concluding the meeting, the Administrator spoke briefly to mention that the next meeting is schedules for January 27, 2020 at 10 a.m.