The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its March monthly meeting in Chicago on Friday, March 1, 2019. Due to elevator problems in the building, the Chairman generously began the meeting a little late allowing audience members to arrive. Chairman Tracy, Member Robinson and Member Alejandre were all present for both sessions while Member Dolins participated by phone and left just before the Video Gaming session.
The Chairman opened the meeting by covering a few different items. First, he mentioned the next meeting is scheduled for April 17, 2019. Next, he briefly mentioned sports wagering. The Chairman stated that while they have not been given any formal direction at this time, he understands that more work is coming to the IGB and that they have received an increased budget. Lastly, the Chairman continued his comments by again thanking IGB staff member Jim Lopinski for his service. The Chairman said that while Mr. Lopinski has retired, he is willing to come back for a few months, on contract, to assist his replacement with handling the transition. The Chairman and Member Robinson also thanked Tammy Compton for undertaking more responsibility during this transition.
During member commentary, Member Robinson addressed the upcoming minority contract deadlines. She stated she is looking forward to the licensee’s submissions and would like the submissions to model economic inclusion. She mentioned that the IGB issued a guide to assist in this endeavor and she addressed the “good faith effort” stated in the regulations and her view that such efforts require a more active role by licensees.
The Administrator followed Member Robinson’s comments. He said that, like the elevator issues this morning, they were also experiencing computer difficulties and he was unable to retrieve his report on the number of live locations and live video gaming terminals (VGTs).
The meeting continued with the Board approving the dissemination of closed session minutes in 2018 and approving the January Riverboat and Video Gaming meeting minutes.
There were two speakers scheduled for the public commentary section, however, Mayor Irvin of Aurora chose to address the Board during the final consideration of HC Aurora d/b/a Hollywood Casino Aurora license renewal. Andy Sotiropoulos, Gaming Manager/Owner of Connies & Giannis, Inc., addressed the Board to request assistance in a contract dispute involving his use agreement’s termination and auto-renewal provisions.
The Board began the Riverboat session by addressing the final considerations of two licensees. These considerations resulted in one of the longest Riverboat meetings in recent history, which included two separate recesses and a number of speakers. If you’d like to hear the full meeting recording, it can be found on the Illinois Gaming Board’s website.
The following casino license was renewed.
The following transaction and key persons were approved relating to Churchill Downs Inc.’s acquisition of a majority equity stake in the Rivers Casino, conditioned upon a good faith effort over the next 90 days to search for a statutorily eligible minority/women 10% investor:
The Board also moved to approve the final consideration of supplier licensee, Konami Gaming, Inc. and issue occupational licenses to 37 Level 2 and 85 Level 3 applicants.
Lastly, the Board denied two occupational licensees and issued one disciplinary complaint seeking to revoke the occupational license of an individual who allegedly failed to disclose an arrest.
The Riverboat session then concluded.
After the very lengthy Riverboat meeting, the Video Gaming session began with a hurried effort by the Board. The Board granted the supplier license of Patriot Gaming & Electronics, Inc. and the meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to the following:
There were also a number of license renewals granted. The terminal hander, technician and location licensees that were up for renewal this month were all renewed given that the IGB was provided with updated information, renewal fees were timely paid and all necessary requirements were satisfied. The following terminal operator licensees were also renewed:
The Board tabled the motion for CH House Corp. d/b/a The Coach House Bar & Grill and denied the applications of the following three establishments:
The Board also denied the applications of three terminal handlers: Michael Morris; Verna Agboola; and Gerald Hall. Immediately after denying these individuals, the Board took further action and granted Michael Morris permission to reapply and ordered Illinois Gaming Investors LLC d/b/a Prairie State Gaming, LLC to disassociate from Verna Agboola and Gerald Hall.
The Board received five Requests for Hearings and, in surprising fashion, granted all five requests. The Board granted the requests of Jameson Pub. INC d/b/a Skooter’s Roadhouse; Rough Road LLC d/b/a Freedom Bar; TNT Securities Inc. d/b/a TNT; Wild Money Gaming, LLC; and Cicero Citgo, Inc. d/b/a 12th St. BP.
The following three requests to reapply were also granted:
The Board voted to issue a number of disciplinary complaints against Video Gaming licensees.
o Pilot Travel Centers LLC d/b/a Pilot Travel Center #643;
o Effingham Chrome Shop, Inc. d/b/a Effingham Chrome Shop;
o Downtown Lounge, Inc. d/b/a Downtown Lounge;
o Mexphil Enterprises Incorporated d/b/a Quick Stop Package Liquor;
o TA Operating LLC d/b/a TravelCenters of America;
o Speedway LLC d/b/a Speedway #7503; and
o Gopher’s Grill, Inc. d/b/a Gopher’s Grill.
Lastly, the Board granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlements and dismiss the complaints when appropriate to the following eight licensees:
The meeting was then adjourned.
While we all are anxiously awaiting for spring, we wanted to briefly remind licensees that illegal gambling, such as NCAA brackets, is strictly prohibited and violators are subject to disciplinary complaints resulting in fines or possible revocation of licenses.
We also wanted to bring your attention to the new location application fee. Once an application has been submitted, location owners will receive an email correspondence from the IGB informing them that a nonrefundable $100 application fee is required. This is separate and apart from the $100 licensing fee that is required after a location has been approved for licensure.