The Illinois Gaming Board held its webinar-based monthly meeting on November 17, 2020. Members present included Chairman Schmadeke, Member Hayden and Member Garcia. Member Ramirez was not present. The meeting began with the approval of the Board September 17 meeting minutes and the October 29 special meeting minutes. The Chairman did not provide any opening comments.
Administrator Fruchter began by stating he had little to add since the Board’s October 29 special meeting other than to say that IGB staff continue to perform its statutorily required work concerning casino application reviews.
Administrator Fruchter then provided a few comments concerning sports wagering revenue reports. First, the revenue reports (All Wagering Activity reports and Completed Events reports) are delayed because sports wagering revenue figures from licensees are not due to the IGB until the last day of the month following the month the revenue was earned. Additionally, if a licensee is late providing its data to the Board, the Board will wait to publish the revenue reports until it has all the data from all licensees. Second, Administrator Fruchter noted that some media reports have incorrectly under-reported Illinois sports wagering revenue. The Administrator explained the difference between All Wagering Activity reports vs. Completed Events reports, both of which are available on the IGB’s website here. According to the Administrator, the All Wagering Activity Reports track dollars-in and dollars-out and track the traditional handle for a particular month. The Completed Events reports include all wagers on a completed event. For example, if a Bears fan placed a bet on the Packers this month to win the Super Bowl in order to hopefully jinx the Packers, that bet would not show up in the Completed Events report but would should up in the All Wagering Activity report.
The Administrator then listed the specific sports wagering numbers for September and noted that September 2020 was only the third full month of sports wagering in Illinois. The total sports wagering revenue numbers are expected to be even better for October due to the World Series, college football, the NFL and other sports getting into full swing.
The Administrator concluded his remarks by reminding everyone to be safe, wear a mask, wash hands, social distance and follow all guidelines relating to COVID-19 precautions. He then wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving and stated the next Board meeting will be December 17, 2020. At that meeting, the Board will likely announce the meeting dates for 2021.
There were four public speakers during the public commentary section. The first speaker was Doug Dawson, who raised concerns he has with his current terminal operator and expressed his frustration with not being able to partner with a competing terminal operator of his choosing. Next to speak was Kathy Gilroy. Ms. Gilroy expressed concerns over sports betting advertisements and also expressed concerns that video gaming establishments are not taking necessary precautions to ensure customers properly social distance and stay safe when playing at the video gaming terminals. Ms. Gilroy could not be seen on video, but it sounded as if Ms. Gilroy was trying to use pictures to give examples of improper social distancing at various locations. The third speaker was Brian Volpe. Similar to Mr. Dawson, Mr. Volpe expressed frustration with his current terminal operator and informed the Board he has unsuccessfully been trying to switch to another terminal operator for approximately five years. The final speaker was Mr. Kreitzer, who also expressed his frustration with not being able to switch to a different terminal operator. Perhaps the one thing the entire video gaming industry can agree on is that the Rule 320 petition process is not an efficient way to deal with disputes between terminal operators and locations.
The Administrator spoke briefly to discuss Proposed Video Gaming Rule 1800.360 – Terminal Operator Records Retention. The Board approved the Administrator’s recommendation concerning this proposed rule, which requires terminal operators to maintain financial records and is functionally equivalent to the record retention rules for master sports wagering licensees and is substantially similar to requirements for owners/casinos. Once the proposed rule is approved, the IGB will publish a record retention schedule.
The Board approved Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino request to renew its license, which was renewed for a period of four years.
The Board approved Southland Ho-Chunk Entertainment, LLC (South Suburban Applicant) request to amend its application.
The Board renewed Ainsworth Game Technology, Inc.’s supplier license for one year.
The Board then approved 54 Level 2 and 22 Level 3 (total of 76) Occupational Licenses. The Board also renewed all Level 1, 2 and 3 Occupational Licenses that provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. These renewals were retroactive to October 2019 where necessary.
The Board approved approximately nine Level 1 licenses. The Board also approved Level 2 and Level 3 (there were a total of 204) Occupational Licenses.
The video gaming portion of the meeting began with the Board approving the transfer of a minority ownership interest in Awesome Hand Services, LLC d/b/a Awesome Hand Gaming, LLC pursuant to Board Rule 340.
The Board then renewed the licenses of the following terminal operators:
- RCW Gaming, LLC
- Angelle & Green Gaming LLC
- CCFVG, Inc. d/b/a Best Gaming
- Dearborn Gaming, LLC
- Elite Gaming, LLC
- Empire Gaming, LLC
- Illinois Gaming Entertainment LLC d/b/a Illinois Gaming Entertainment
- National Gaming Operators LLC
- United Gaming Operator LLC
The Board then approved 56 people for technician and/or handler licenses. The Board also renewed the technician and handler licenses for all people that provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. These renewals were retroactive to October 2019 where necessary. One individual was issued a Notice of Non-renewal due to being terminated from the terminal operator company.
The Board approved 134 video gaming establishment licenses. The Board denied video gaming licenses to the following applicants:
- 2001 North Manheim Corp d/b/a Jay’s Sports (we were unable to confirm this applicant’s name)
- Greenovic Inc. d/b/a mobile Hopstinsk Gas (we were unable to confirm this applicant’s name)
- Statewide Investments LLC d/b/a Little Nashville
- CJ’s Saloon LLC (we were unable to confirm this applicant’s name)
- Bigfoot Gaming LLC d/b/a Bigfoot Gaming LLC (allegedly statutorily ineligible)
- Donnie’s Bar and Grill Inc d/b/a Donnie’s Bar and Grill (allegedly statutorily ineligible)
- Jackson and Holsey LLC d/b/a Backroads Bar (allegedly statutorily ineligible)
The Board then renewed the establishment licenses for all locations that provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. These renewals were retroactive to October 2019 where necessary.
The Board did not renew the license of N.K.N., Incorporated d/b/a Kozy Nook Restaurant. The Board also rescinded its notice of non-renewal to Triple L AG Supply, Inc. d/b/a Bucks Crossing, and renewed this license, retroactive to March 2020.
The Board denied the following requests for hearing by the following applicants: Creative Games Technologies, LLC and KC 2120 Club d/b/a KC 2120 Club. Importantly, back in July 2020, the Board delegated authority to the Administrator to grant hearing requests and requests to reapply. Certain requests are still being reviewed by the Administrator and we are cautiously optimistic that notices that hearing requests have been granted will be issued over the next several days.
The Board also announced that a settlement agreement was entered into concerning the case: In re: The Disciplinary Action of HC Aurora, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Aurora, and HC Joliet, LLC d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet, Owner Licensees, and Penn National Gaming Inc., Key Person, Case No. DC-18-26.
The meeting was then adjourned. The next IGB meeting is scheduled for December 17, 2020.