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 IGB held its webinar-based monthly meeting on March 9, 2021. Members present included Member Ramirez, Member Garcia, and Chairman Schmadeke. The meeting began with the approval of the January and February meeting minutes. Neither the Chairman nor Board Members had any additional comments.
The meeting continued with the Administrator’s comments. The Administrator briefly mentioned that it was the one-year anniversary of suspending gaming due to COVID-19. He encouraged listeners to help rebuild Illinois and the gaming industry by continuing to wear masks, wash hands, respect social distancing protocols and get vaccinated when able.
The Administrator then provided the totals of taxable revenue generated from sports wagering to date in 2021. According to his report, the state has received approximately $7.1 million in taxable revenue since January. He also took a moment to mention that betting on Illinois collegiate activities is prohibited and urged those interested in learning more to visit the sports wagering Frequently Asked Questions page and, specifically a March 9 Memorandum to all Illinois sports wagering operators for more information on the topic.
The Administrator then provided information related to video gaming. He stated that there was $23 million in taxable revenue generated since January, 2021. He then mentioned that there are 38,351 live video gaming terminals (VGTs) in 7,457 licensed locations, including the 3,837 locations with six (6) or more machines. He also stated that the new inducement rule, Rule 350, was approved by Joint Committee of Administrative Rules (JCAR) and has been since filed with the Secretary of State’s office. The Administrator acknowledged that this new rule will come with some growing pains and adjustments. He stated he expects future amendments or additional related rulemaking while this new rule is implemented. The IGB staff is currently working on a “Frequently Asked Questions” page specifically dedicated to the inducement rule for the industry to reference.
In summary, the Administrator said that video gaming, sports wagering and casino revenue brought a combined $33 million in taxes to the State and approximately $5.5 million in tax revenue to localities.
Lastly, the Administrator mentioned that March is National Problem Gambling Month and, as a segue, introduced Dr. Hannah Carliner of Health Resources in Action to address the Board and public during the Public Comment section of the meeting.
Dr. Hannah Carliner of Health Resources in Action (HRA) spoke about HRA, a nonprofit health organization that is partnering with Illinois Department of Health Services (IDHS) to research the impact of problem gambling in Illinois. It will be publishing a report based on an assessment and questionnaire called the Illinois Assessment pf Problem Gambling. Dr. Carliner encouraged listeners to visit the link to the survey and requested attendees share the link as well. If you would like the survey link, please let us know.
The Board then approved the Proposed Rule Amendment to 1800.320(b) regarding the format of petitions filed in dispute of Use Agreements (320 Petitions). This amendment would establish a 15-page limit to 320 Petitions unless granted an exception. It would also allow for an extension of time to file if such an extension was granted. This page limit and filing extension are similar to protocols standard in state and federal court.
The Board next approved the Request to amend the owner’s license application of Full House Resorts, Inc. Southern Illinois Riverboat/Casino cruises, LLC d/b/a Harrah’s Metropolis Casino made its initial presentation for its license renewal and The Rock Island Boatworks, Inc. d/b/a Jumer’s Casino and Hotel made its initial request for the transfer of ownership. These two matters will be considered for final action at a subsequent meeting.
The Administrator then approved 1) the supplier renewal of United States Playing Card Company, 2) thirty-four (34) Level 2 and thirty-five (35) Level 3 occupational licensees, and 3) 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 Administrator approved one hundred twenty-eight (128) Level 2 occupational licensees and two (2) Level 1 occupational licenses to individuals associated with Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino and HC Joliet, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Joliet respectively.
The Video Gaming session began with the Administrator rescinding the denial of Terminal Operator applicant, Lakeview Gaming, LLC, and renewing the following Supplier/Terminal Operator licenses:
- Patriot Gaming & Electronics, Inc.
- Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC
- Arkadian Gaming, LLC
- Ashiq Gaming, LLC d/b/a Blackjack Gaming
- Awesome Hand Services, LLC
- B&B Amusement of Illinois, LLC
- Dragonfly Gaming, Inc.
- Compact Disc Amusements, Limited
- Eureka Entertainment, LLC
- Fair Share Gaming, LLC
- Laurel Gaming, LLC
- Leisure Time Gaming & Amusements, Inc.
- Mississippi Gaming and Amusements, LLC
- WAMI Gaming, LLC
- American Video Gaming, LLC
- Lattner Entertainment Group Illinois, LLC
- Renville Gaming, LLC
Next, the terminal hander, technician and location licensees that were up for renewal and provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements were renewed. Three (3) locations were issued notices of nonrenewal: Spring Hill Entertainment Inc. d/b/a Spring Hill Entertainment INC.; Hoffman House of East Rockford, Inc. d/b/a Firehouse Pub; and Little Vegas Gaming, Inc. d/b/a Little Vegas Inc.
The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to sixty-nine (69) terminal handlers and ninety-eight (98) video gaming locations and the denial and the following three (3) locations:
- Baci Café & Pizzeria of Melrose Park, Inc. d/b/a Bacci Café & Pizzeria of Melrose Park
- Joe Donut Belle’s Inc. d/b/a Joe Donut Belle’s
- Six Stars Quick Stop, Inc. d/b/a Six Stars Quick Stop, Inc.
The Administrator rescinded the denial of Evolution River Street, Inc. d/b/a Bar Evolution and granted leave to amend and update the application currently on file with the IGB.
The meeting concluded with the Board reviewing and accepting Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) recommendations of denial in the cases of In re. Denial of DREWSKIE’S LLC and In re. Denial of Lacey’s Place LLC and it issued a final order of denial in each case.
This concluded this month’s meeting.
As always, if you have any questions regarding what happened at this month’s meeting or any pending rules/regulations, please give us a call.
Please remember that while gambling activities have resumed and sports wagering is legal in Illinois, it is still illegal for locations to permit illegal gambling activities on their premises, including activities (such as brackets) related to March Madness.