At Stake

by Fox Rothschild LLP
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On a very temperate morning, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its monthly meeting on Thursday, August 24, 2017, in Chicago. It seems fitting that as we send our kids back to school this week, we also must get back to our monthly meetings. We have provided a summary of both the Riverboat and Video Gaming Meetings below. As you know, there was no July monthly meeting and as such the content of the August meeting is voluminous.

Riverboat Meeting

Chairman Tracy began this meeting with words of deserved appreciation and congratulations to Mary Boruta, Secretary of the Gaming Board, on her retirement effective next week. The Chairman continued his comments stating that the October monthly meeting has been canceled. Finally, he discussed the “robust” self-exclusion list currently in place at Illinois casinos and a potential revision to the existing program. The Chairman asked staff to propose a new rule that will eliminate the list’s “lifetime ban” in the hope that more individuals will sign up for the program.

During his comments, the Administrator also thanked Ms. Boruta for her service during the last 20 years of working together. He also expressed gratitude and congratulations to Cori Rutherford, General Manager or Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino, for the success of the recent minority business procurement fair hosted at Par-A-Dice. Ms. Rutherford continued this message during the Public Commentary. She briefly discussed the convention, thanked and congratulated speakers and presenters such as Administrator Ostrowski, and acknowledged that every Illinois casino was represented.

During the Board Policy Items, the Board approved the dissemination of the closed session minutes from January 2017 through June 2017 and proposed an amendment to Rule 660. According to Legal Staff, the amendment will be a “technical change” that will allow electronic gaming devices and table games both to be linked to progressive jackpots.

There were no items for initial considerations, however, final consideration and approval was granted for the following: Casino Queen, Inc. for its license renewal; Thomas Griffith as Director of Finance for Southern Illinois Riverboat Casino Cruises, Inc. d/b/a Harrah’s Metropolis Casino; Christopher Britten as Information Technology Manager of HC Aurora, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Aurora; Randall H. Conroy as Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Des Plaines Development Limited Partnership d/b/a Harrah’s Joliet Casino Hotel; Chinedum Otigbuo as Internal Auditor of Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino; Micro Gaming Technologies, Inc. for its supplier license renewal; and Anthony Tomasello as a Key Person for American Gaming & Electronics, Inc.

The Board approved 87 Level 2 and 163 Level 3 occupational licenses and issued notices of denial to four individuals. The Board also granted a request to reapply of Benjamin Wycoff and rescinded the June 2017 denial of Antoine Ware and granted him an occupational license.

The Board issued disciplinary complaints revoking the occupational licenses of five individuals for reasons that included alleged misconduct at Hollywood Casino Joliet, alleged misconduct at Hollywood Aurora, alleged felony convictions and alleged arrests for theft.

Lastly, the Board rescinded disciplinary complaint previously issued against Daniella Digado, DC-17-10.

Video Gaming Meeting

The Chairman and the Board Members had no comments and the Administrator provided his monthly location update stating there are 6,163 live locations with 27,193 Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).

In the public comment section of the meeting, Anita Bedell addressed concerns regarding Rewards Programs for licensed video gaming establishments. Ms. Bedell believes that Rewards Programs would target pathological gamblers and that such programs would encourage problem gambling. She asked that the Board not allow such programs be implemented.

During the Board Policy Items, the Board approved the dissemination of the closed session minutes from January 2017 through June 2017 and proposed amendments to the current rules. The first amendment proposed by legal staff is to define “prime facie case.” The intention is to amend Rule 615. A prima facie case is “the submission of material evidence by a licensed applicant establishing suitability for licensure by: 1) rebutting material factual allegations as outlined in the Notice of Denial; or 2) presenting additional material evidence not considered by the Board when making its licensing determination.” Secondly, the Board wants to provide a clarification of the existing Section 45(a) of the Video Gaming Act (the Act). Currently Section 45(a) says that the Board may apply Section 9 of the Riverboat Gaming Act (RGA) when making determination regarding licensure. The legal staff stated that the legal interpretation of may implies a mandatory meaning and the Board would like to clarify the meaning so that may is interpreted as shall. As you may know, Donna has spoken publically about this matter at recent IGB meetings and we will continue to monitor this amendment. If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, please contact us. We do not believe this rule amendment passes muster.

The Board granted initial terminal operator (TO) licenses to Game On Entertainment, LLC and Veterans VGT, LLC. In addition, the Board licensed 69 terminal handlers, three technicians and 155 locations.

There were also a number of license renewals granted. The terminal hander, technician and location licensees 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 were renewed, as were the licenses of the following TOs and Distributor/Manufacturer/Supplier:

  • Donico Gaming, LLC
  • FJC Technologies LLC
  • G.F.M. Gaming, LLC
  • Illinois Gaming and Coin-Op LLC
  • LH I, LLC
  • Pocket Aces Gaming Inc.
  • Universal Gaming Group, LLC
  • American Vending Sales, Inc.
  • Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
  • Bally Gaming, Inc.
  • H. Betti Industries, Inc.
  • IGT
  • JCM American Corporation
  • Konami Gaming, Inc.
  • Countr GMBH
  • M3 Technology Solutions, LLC

The Board issued Notices of Disassociation to the following four licensees:

  • Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC was ordered to disassociate from sales agent Alicia Wilson.
  • Compact Disc Amusements, Ltd. was ordered to disassociate from Richard Tado.
  • Illinois Gaming Systems, IL was ordered to disassociate from sales agent Dennis Mullen.
  • Laurel Gaming, LLC was ordered to disassociate from sales agents Mark Cosmo Laudadio and Michael Racanelli.

The Board issued notices of nonrenewals to five locations:

  • KJE5A, Inc. d/b/a Bino’s
  • Hot Shotz Sportz Bar Inc. d/b/a Hot Shotz Sportz Bar Inc.
  • Copa’s Incorporated d/b/a The Blue Taco Bar
  • Brian T. Charley d/b/a O’Charley’s Irish Pub
  • Zaynah Petroleum, Inc. d/b/a Zaynak Petroleum, Inc.

The Board also denied the applications of 11 terminal handlers/technicians and the following four establishments:

  • JS Bar Inc. d/b/a One More
  • Aurora Latin American Club Inc. d/b/a Latin American Club
  • Hard Luck LLC d/b/a Hard Luck LLC
  • The Blue Note Lounge, LLC d/b/a The Blue Note Lounge

The Board received requests for a hearing this month from four applicants. The Board voted to rescind the denial and place the application of Pig Dog Pub Inc. d/b/a Pig Dog Pub (PDP) in pending status after the location provided permission from the Village of Montgomery in light of the establishment being with 100 feet of a place of worship. The Board voted to rescind the denial and place the application of GMG Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Pub 29 in pending status after the location provided proof of a change in ownership. The Board denied the hearing request of 1807 Partners, Inc. d/b/a IL Poveretto for allegedly filing an untimely answer. Lastly, the Board denied the hearing request of Illinois Interactive Gaming. No reason was provided.

The requests to reapply of the following four applicants were granted: Ike’s Enterprises, Inc.; DDJ Inc.; Andrew’s Mart, Inc. d/b/a Andrew’s Mart; and William Beckmann.

The Board issued the following disciplinary complaints against Video Gaming licensees:

  • The Board is seeking to revoke the terminal handler license four individuals for alleged misconduct: Ryan Douthitt; Benjamin Friday; Patrick Orlando and Jason Hudson.
  • The Board is seeking to revoke the terminal handler license of Dennis Mullen for allegedly failing to cooperate with IGB agents and provide answers to agent’s questions.
  • The Board is seeking a $26,166.57 fine from LZ Entertainment for allegedly failing to timely disclose a new sales agent.
  • The Board is seeking a $2,500 fine from two locations for allegedly failing to disclose full ownership or allegedly failing to update a change in ownership of Dale & Jackie’s Discount Liquors, Inc. d/b/a 22nd Street Discount Liquors and Decatur Package, Inc. d/b/a Friendly Bar & Package.
  • The Board is seeking a $1,000 fine from Pilot Travel Centers LLC d/b/a Pilot Travel Center #482 for allegedly failing to disclose a new video gaming manager.
  • The Board is seeking a $5,000 fine from seven establishments for allegedly allowing underage persons to access, use or play VGTs:
    • Blackhawk Restaurant Group LLC Series WCMortond/b/a Betty’s
    • AF Truck Center, LLC d/b/a AF Truck Center, LLC
    • Illinois Café & Service Company, LLC d/b/a Dotty’s (140701122)
    • Mr. D’s 12th Street Rag, Inc. d/b/a Mr. Dees’ 12th Street Rag
    • Lucky’s LLC d/b/a Lucky’s
    • 1715 Inc. d/b/a Blue Note Jazz Club
    • Vinny’s Gambling Café Group, Inc. d/b/a Vinny’s Café
  • The Board is seeking a $7,500 fine from Café Amore, Inc. d/b/a The Winning Circle for allegedly allowing underage persons to access, use or play VGTs and allegedly failing to disclose a change in ownership.
  • The Board is seeking a $5,000 fine from Lincoln USA LLC d/b/a Charley’s for allegedly failing to properly monitor VGTs.
  • The Board is seeking to revoke the following three establishment licenses for alleged tax liabilities:
    • C. & D. of Waterfall, Inc. d/b/a C & D Waterfall
    • Winnie’s Café of Bridgeview, LLC d/b/a Winnie’s Bistro
    • Tavern on LaGrange Corp. d/b/a Tavern on LaGrange
  • The Board is seeking a $1,000 fine from Dixie Wine & Tobacco, Inc. d/b/a Dixie Wine & Tobacco for allegedly failing to maintain a valid liquor license.
  • The Board is seeking to revoke the licenses of three establishments for allegedly failing to respond to complaints previously issued or pay the entered fines:
    • Hogs & Hydrants Inc. d/b/a Hogs & Hydrants
    • TKW Group, LLC d/b/a Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery
    • Alfonso & Mau, Inc. d/b/a El Corral Bar & Grill

The Board also granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlements with the following seven licensees:

  • Ms. D’s Kitchen Bar & Grill Inc. d/b/a Ms. D’s Kitchen
  • Global Gaming Industries, LLC
  • Gaming & Management
  • Ricky R. Kwit & Mary Jo Boland d/b/a Jackpot Bingo Too!
  • EPM 12th Street Company d/b/a Pat’s Pub
  • D’s Bistro Inc. d/b/a D’s Bistro Inc.

Good news! G3 Gaming, LLC had it’s TO license restored in good standing and renewed to May 2018. The case was settled and authority given to the Administrator to enter into a settlement agreement whereby G3 will pay a $200,000 fine.

The Board also granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlement in regard to certain portions of the pending circuit court case Dotty’s et. al v. The Illinois Gaming Board et. al.

Lastly, the Board accepted the Final Order and Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Opinion regarding Chaser’s Tap Inc. The Chairman concluded the meeting stating that while he agrees with the ALJ’s opinion in this case, he would be open to licensing this establishment if the establishment chose to reapply. He continued to say that it was not only the alleged conviction, but also the establishment’s failure to disclosure the information when given the opportunity to do so.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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