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 Feb. 9, 2023 meeting, held in person and virtually, was called to order. Board members present at the meeting included Chairman Schmadeke, Member Hayden and Member Garcia.
The meeting began with the approval of the Regular Board Meeting Minutes from Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 and continued with the Administrator’s comments, as there were no comments from Board Members.
The Administrator first reminded the industry that if there are payments to be made to the IGB, those payments should be sent to the Board’s Springfield office (801 South Seventh Street Suite 400 – South, Springfield, Illinois 62703).
The Administrator then announced that the agenda item concerning the Chicago casino would only be in regard to the temporary site and that Bally’s was not on the agenda for initial consideration. The Administrator then reiterated the process for the award of the Chicago license and the IGB’s procedures in reviewing the Bally’s application.
Finally, the Administrator provided his revenue report. He stated that currently, there are over 45,000 live VGTs in 8,225 licensed locations across the state. According to the Administrator’s report, the November NTI for video gaming locations was approximately $224 million which generated $67 million in tax revenue for the state and $11 million for the local municipalities.
The Administrator also provided a summary of revenue generated by the entire gaming industry for 2022. In total, gaming activities have generated approximately $900 million in tax revenue for the state and $181 million in taxes for local host communities since January for a total of over $1.13 billion in taxable revenue with over $950 million going to the state.
Kevin McGourty (who previously was involved in the video gaming industry) reported to the IGB that there were money laundering activities occurring in a gaming location. He provided a timeline of the notice he provided to the IGB and FBI. He urged the Board to investigate his allegations.
Zach Stallard, of Stop Predatory Gambling Illinois, voiced his opinion regarding the City of Chicago’s process in awarding the temporary site location and the casino applicant choice. He urged the Board to do a full investigation based on various recent news articles.
During his comments regarding Administrative Matters, Mr. Fruchter spoke about Proposed Administrator Delegation. The Board approved a permanent delegation of authority (rather than as an emergency measure) to the Administrator. The delegation will be reviewed annually and may be revised or revoked. Although the permanent delegation has not been posted to the IGB’s website at the time of this publication, we expect it to be available soon. The emergency delegation from January 2021, however, can be found under press releases on the Illinois Gaming Board’s website: Illinois Gaming Board. A copy is attached here for your convenience.
The Casino portion of the meeting began with the Board’s approval of the initial supplier licenses of Medinah Building LLC and Medinah Hodlings, LLC which related to the temporary site for the Chicago casino.
The meeting continued with the Board approving the Rule 230(d) request of Wind Creek IL LLC regarding proposed changes to the entertainment complex.
The meeting continued with the Board approving three Key Person/Level 1 Occupational licensees, 68 Level 2 occupational licenses, and 91 Level 3 occupational licenses.
Next, the Administrator issued renewals to the occupational licensees that were up for renewal and had provided updated information, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements.
The Sports Wagering section of the meeting began with the Board approving the occupational applications of 140 Level 2 applicants and one Level 3 applicant. The Administrator then granted renewals to the Level 1, 2, and 3 licensees that were up for renewal, had provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements.
The Administrator began the Video Gaming session, as he has in past meetings, by reiterating that the licenses for establishments, handlers and technicians now have a term of two years, while suppliers, distributors, manufacturers and terminal operator licenses now have a term of four years and that though new license terms would begin today, annual fees are still due. He also reminded licensees that, due to technical difficulties including auto-generated notices and programming and system enhancements, licensees may receive letters or notices with one-year expiration dates, adding that IGB will be providing updates on the Sci Games portal and to please make notes of any discrepancies.
The Board then granted initial terminal operators licenses to Chi-Lanta Holdings, LLC and Shree Gaming, LLC. The Board denied the initial license for Dodona Gaming LLC.
The Board also renewed the TO license of Springfield Gaming, LLC retroactive to December 2022.
Next, the Administrator renewed the terminal handler, technician and location licensees that were up for renewal and had provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. He also issued a notice of nonrenewal to Sunrise Motel Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Manny’s after the location allegedly failed to pay a $5,000 fine associated with a previous disciplinary complaint.
The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to two terminal technicians, 44 terminal handlers and 82 video gaming locations.
The Board then denied the location applications of the following:
- Beaners Mexican BBQ Inc. d/b/a Chingon BBQ
- C &S Gaming LLC d/b/a Lucky Street Gaming
- Frogger’s Pub LLC d/b/a Frogger’s Pub LLC
- Lucky Gem, LLC d/b/a Lucky Gem LLC
- Wilhelm Industries, Inc. d/b/a Wonder Wash
The next matter involved requests for hearing. The Administrator addressed two requests for hearing where both locations have the same owner. The applications were initially denied in July 2022 as the Board determined that pursuant to Rule 810 it would establish a “video mall” type concept. The Board denied the hearing requests as they did not comply with the requirement of Rule 615.
The next requests for hearing also were filed by two locations with the same ownership. These locations were previously denied because the owner engaged in questionable conduct as a sales agent. Neither of the hearing requests complied with Rule 615 and both were denied.
The meeting was then concluded.