The Illinois Gaming Board held its first hybrid monthly meeting on Thursday, June 16, 2022. The full board attended the meeting in person, including Chairman Schmadeke, Member Hayden, Member Bell and Member Garcia. However, there were few people in the audience.
The meeting began with the approval of the Regular Board Meeting Minutes from April 28, 2022 and continued with brief comments from the Chairman and the Administrator respectively. The Chairman took only a moment to acknowledge that it was great to see individuals, especially staff, as this was the first meeting where attendance was possible. The Administrator echoed those sentiments and added that this is the first hybrid meeting in IGB history. He thanked the staff of the House Speaker and all staff that made this session possible as it took much work. He also stated that he appreciates the use of the House Speaker’s room.
Due to the very lengthy closed session meeting, for which we wished we were flies on the wall, the Administrator stated that he was not going to make any additional comments nor would he provide his customary monthly report of revenues. Instead, he directed interested parties to visit the IGB’s website for the information. There is a Monthly Report section under each industry:
Following the Administrator, Dr. Hannah Carliner, of Health Resources in Action (a not-for-profit), provided a presentation discussing the Illinois Department of Human Services Statewide Assessment of Gambling and Problem Gambling. The presentation, which was well organized and informative, discussed the findings of a statewide problem gambling questionnaire. We encourage those interested to watch Dr. Carliner’s presentation on the IGB’s monthly meeting recording when it becomes available on the IGB’s website. Alternatively, the complete assessment and expert commentary is available here.
The meeting then continued with the public commentary. Although Mark Lavery was listed on the agenda, the Administrator stated that he had decided not to address the Board at this time. The next person on the agenda for public commentary was Randi Hoffstead, establishment owner. Mrs. Hoffstead addressed the IGB to discuss the delay in administrative action as well as the costly effects impacting small businesses when IGB staff does not timely review materials or work with applicants/licensees to come to a resolution on issues where staff has expressed a concern. She stated that it is like being slow-walked to financial ruin and that small businesses are significantly disadvantaged compared to big companies or wealthy individuals.
Following Public Commentary, the Administrator briefly discussed and the Board voted to adopt Rule 1130, which prohibits wagering on Russian and Belarusian events, as a permanent rule.
The next item on the agenda, Consideration and Review of Closed Session Minutes for Dissemination, was tabled and the meeting continued with the Casino session.
The Casino portion of the meeting did not begin with the presentation of HC Joliet, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet’s request for initial consideration of owner’s license renewal as listed on the agenda. The Administrator stated this matter will be tabled until next month when the licensee will make a renewal presentation.
The meeting continued with the approval of the Level 1 occupational license of Patrick Macfarland for his role as Vice President of Finance and Administration of Des Plaines Development Limited Partnership d/b/a Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel, the approval of 127 Level 2 occupational licenses, and 123 Level 3 occupational licenses. The Board also issued one notice of denial.
Next, the Administrator issued renewals to those occupational licensees that were up for renewal and had provided updated information, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. The Administrator also renewed the following casino supplier licenses:
- 815 Beltway Holding
- Global Payments Gaming Services, Inc.
- House Advantage, LLC
- VICI Properties 1, LLC
- NRT Technology Corporation (NRT)
It should be noted that NRT was issued a conditional one-year license and fined $30,000 for allegedly submitting renewal materials 51 days late. According to the Administrator, the fine was significantly high because this was not NRT’s first time with an allegedly late submission of renewal materials.
The brief Sports Wagering section of the meeting began with the Administrator approving 210 Level 2 and Level 3 occupational licensees. The Board next 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 the past three 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.
Following his comments, the Administrator renewed the respective manufacturer, distributor, supplier, or terminal operator licenses of the following entities for a period of four years:
- Novamatic Americas Sales LLC
- Curo Group, LLC
- NRT (*also for a conditional license as stated in the Casino session)
- G3 Gaming, LLC
- Hyperactive Gaming, LLC
- Illinois Gaming Investors LLC d/b/a Prairie State Gaming, LLC
- Skybox Gaming Group, LLC
- AP Gaming LLC
- Arktyk Gaming Solutions LLC
- Diversity Gaming Solutions, LLC
- Lucky Street Gaming LLC
- Winners Depot, LLC
Next, the Administrator renewed the terminal handler, technician and location licensees which were up for renewal and had provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements.
The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to 38 terminal handlers, one terminal technician and 110 video gaming locations. The Board also issued notices of non-renewals to three establishments;
- Marissa Recreational Area Association d/b/a Marissa Rec Area Golf Course
- Chronister Oil Company d/b/a Qik-N-EZ
- MKMD Zeller Inn, LLC d/b/a Zeller Inn
The Board next denied the applications of one handler/technician and the following four locations:
- El Ranchito Tellos, Inc.
- JW Saloon & Package LLC
- Pavilion Partners Inc.
- Sam’s Pizzeria Harlem, L.L.C. d/b/a Sam’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
The Board next discussed two Rule 320 Petitions, 17 UP 009 and 18 UP 021, in which the Board voted to adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) recommendations in both. The final Board orders in Rule 320 Petitions will be available on the IGB’s website, Illinois Gaming Board - Video Rule 320 Petitions.
The Administrator ended the meeting with a reminder that the next meeting is July 28, 2022 and that they are currently working to make it a hybrid meeting, but that more details will be provided at a later date.
The Chairman followed by again thanking the leadership of the General Assembly for their help in this successful hybrid meeting and sharing their beautiful room.