At Stake - November 2021

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The IGB held its monthly meeting on November 18, 2021. As noted last month, this meeting was added as a Special Board Meeting. Board members present included Chairman Schmadeke, Member Hayden and Member Bell.

Before we provide our synopsis of the meeting, we want to remind licensees that the U.S. Department of Justice will begin accepting annual registrations on December 1, 2021. As you know, this filing is required of all casinos, manufacturers, distributors/suppliers, terminal operators and location licensees. If you require assistance, please reach out to us.

The meeting began with the approval of the October 13, October 20 and October 28 meeting minutes. There were no Board Member comments and no public comments.

The Administrator began his comments by commending much of the IGB staff in their efforts related to opening the Rockford temporary casino on November 10, 2021. As a brief recap, 815 Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Hard Rock Casino Rockford was granted a Temporary Operating Permit on November 9, 2021 after successful test runs on November 8 and November 9. The Temporary Operating Permit allows a casino to operate at a temporary facility for a maximum of 24 months while the permanent facility is being constructed, with the possibility of an additional 12 months under certain circumstances such as construction issues.

The Administrator provided a recap of casino expansion progress. Most notably, the Administrator stated that while the Board was prepared to make a determination regarding preliminary suitability for the Waukegan Casino license, as listed on this meeting’s agenda, the items will be tabled. Putting off consideration of the Waukegan applicants is a result of a Temporary Restraining Order secured by Potawatomi Hotel and Casino that citied allegations of impropriety in the Waukegan Certification process. While the Administrator stated the IGB will not comment on pending litigation, consideration for the Waukegan casino is being deferred at this time.

Regarding the South Suburban Casino, the remaining two Applicants provided their best and final offers to the IGB on November 12, 2021 for consideration.

The Administrator also provided his revenue report. He stated there are currently 41,937 live video gaming terminals (VGTs) in roughly 7,952 licensed locations across the state. In September, these VGTs generated approximately $211.3 million in Net Terminal Income, with total tax revenue of approximately $71.8 million. The State received approximately $61.2 million in taxes with local municipalities receiving approximately $10.5 million.

In summary, the Administrator said that the combined (video gaming, sports wagering and casino) gaming industry total tax revenue for January 1 through September 30, 2021 is approximately $747.5 million to the state and approximately $143.8 million in tax revenue to localities for a grand total of approximately $891.3 million.

Lastly, the Administrator provided the tentative 2022 IGB Meeting dates. The schedule will be published on the IGB’s website and is below for your convenience:

  • Thursday, Jan 27, 2022
  • Thursday, March 10, 2022
  • Thursday, April 28, 2022
  • Thursday, June 16, 2022
  • Thursday, July 28, 2022
  • Thursday, September 15, 2022
  • Thursday, October 27, 2022
  • Thursday, December 8, 2022

Please note that there are no meetings scheduled for February, May, August or November.

Administrative Matters

After the Administrator’s comments, the meeting continued with the presentation of a proposed amendment to Video Gaming Rule 1800.320 regarding 320 Petitions. Although the Administrator did not read the proposed revisions as has been done in the past, he did say the proposed revisions would do the following:

  • Codify petitioner’s ability to withdrawal and permit the Administrator to approve the withdrawal without Board action
  • Include language to include large truck stops in this process
  • Include language regarding the eight (8) year term limits of use agreements
  • Include language regarding Terminal Operators with suspended licenses
  • Clarify that requests may be denied by the Administrator if they do not follow rules for submission
  • Implement, as determined by the Administrator, a third-party mediator at the expense of the parties to assist in possible settlement of a particular matter

After the Board approved the submission of this amendment to the Secretary of State Index Department, the Administrator noted that the IGB has created a landing page on its website specifically related to Rule 320 petitions as well as an email address (IGB.321@illinois.gov).

Casino

The Board began the Casino portion of the meeting by approving Casino Queen, Inc. d/b/a DraftKings at Casino Queen’s Request to Allow Casino Queen, Inc. to Convert to Casino Queen, LLC, approving its Request for Final Approval to Transfer Direct Ownership of Casino Queen, LLC from CQ Holding Company, Inc. to Casino Queen Fairmount LLC, and approval of the following Key Persons:

  • Casino Queen Fairmount LLC
  • Fairmount Holdings, Inc.
  • William Stiritz

The Board then approved Fairmount Park, Inc. d/b/a FanDuel Sports Book and Horseracing’s Request to Allow Fairmount Park Inc. to Convert to Fairmount Park, LLC, its Request for Final Approval to Transfer Direct Ownership of Fairmount Park, LLC from Fairmount Holdings, Inc. to Casino Queen Fairmount LLC, and approved the following associated Key Persons:

  • Casino Queen Fairmount LLC
  • CQ Holding Company, Inc.
  • SG CQ Gaming, LLC
  • Standard General LP
  • Cheryl Ash
  • Terrance Downey
  • Soohyung Kim

Separately, the Board approved Michele Wolff as a Key Person forElgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino for her role as Regional Internal Audit Manager.

Next, the Board approved Jeremy Howland as a Level 1 Occupational Licensee for his role as VP of Finance and CFO of Hollywood Casino Aurora and Hollywood Casino Joliet, as well as 24 Level-2 and 38 Level-3 occupational licensees. The Administrator then approved the Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 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.

Sports Wagering

Similar to the Casino session, the Board began the Sports Wagering portion of the meeting with approving Casino Queen, Inc. d/b/a DraftKings at Casino Queen’s Request for Final Approval to Transfer Direct Ownership of Casino Queen, LLC from CQ Holding Company, Inc. to Casino Queen Fairmount LLC and approval of the following Key Persons:

  • Casino Queen Fairmount LLC
  • Fairmount Holdings, Inc.
  • William Stiritz

The Board then approved Fairmount Park, Inc. d/b/a FanDuel Sports Book and Horseracing’s Request for Final Approval to Transfer Direct Ownership of Fairmount Park, LLC from Fairmount Holdings, Inc. to Casino Queen Fairmount LLC and approved the following associated Key Persons:

  • Casino Queen Fairmount LLC
  • CQ Holding Company, Inc.
  • SG CQ Gaming, LLC
  • Standard General LP
  • Cheryl Ash
  • Terrance Downey
  • Soohyung Kim

The Administrator approved 39 Level-2 occupational licensees as well as granted renewals to the Level-1, Level-2 and Level-3 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.

Video Gaming

The Video Gaming session began with the Board approving the initial Terminal Operator license of Kronos Gaming, LLC. Administrator then renewed the terminal operator licenses of:

  • Angelle & Green Gaming LLC
  • CCFVG, Inc. d/b/a Best Gaming
  • Empire Gaming, LLC

Next, the terminal hander, technician, and location licensees which were up for renewal and provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees, and complied with all other requirements were renewed. Two locations were issued a notice of nonrenewal. 1234 Food Mart Inc. d/b/a 1234 Food Mart Inc. was issued a notice of nonrenewal for allegedly not having separate seating pursuant to Rule 810 and Livingston Gas & Grocery Inc. d/b/a Livingston Shell was issued a notice of nonrenewal related to allegations of not paying retail taxes as well as a previous owner having continuing to have involvement in the location though not disclosed to the IGB presently.

The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to 12 terminal handlers and 48 video gaming locations.

The Board denied the license applications of the following seven locations, including one denial for statutory ineligibility:

  • Great Boars of Fire, Inc. d/b/a The Great Boars of Fire
  • North Island Catering Inc. d/b/a Pearce’s
  • Pana Gaming Parlor inc. d/b/a Pana Gmaing Parlor
  • Proviso Petroleum Co d/b/a King Gas
  • Sofia’s Stefanis, Inc. d/b/a Sofias Stefanis Bar & Grill
  • Travis Board d/b/a Twisted Throttle
  • T42, Inc. d/b/a John & Tony’s

Next, the Board voted to deny the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Recommendation as the Administrator had previously permitted the petitioner to withdraw its Rule 320 Petition of Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC, Petitioner (Accel) v. Jakari, Inc. d/b/a Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, Respondent (Pepe’s) and Illinois Operators, Inc., et al., Docket No. 19-UP-028.

Finally, in the matter of James Shelton d/b/a Jimbo’s and Silver Moon, the ALJ recommended a default be entered as the Applicant failed to attend hearing dates. However, the Applicant had filed a request to withdraw its hearing request. The Administrator allowed the withdrawal, so no further action is required.

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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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