At Stake

October 7, 2016Newsletters

The Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) held its October monthly meeting on Friday, October 7th, 2016.  Chairman Tracy participated via teleconference to explain that he was unable to attend the meetings due to a time-sensitive client matter in Springfield. He stated that he appointed Member Dunn as Acting Chairman to serve in his absence.

Below is a summary of the Riverboat Meeting and the Video Gaming Meeting. Both of these meetings seemed to go fairly quickly.

Riverboat Meeting

Members present included Acting Chairman Dunn, Member Dollins, Member Allejandre, and Member Robinson who participated via telephone. There were no comments made by the Acting Chairman, Board Members, or Administrator. While there was a public speaker listed on the meeting’s agenda, no public commentary was made.

While the Board heard initial consideration for Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC (“Rivers”) regarding a refinancing matter and Grand Victoria Casino (“Grand Victoria”) regarding ANP Trusts and estate planning purposes, they tabled Gaming Partners International USA, Inc.’s Supplier Renewal and final consideration and approval was granted for the following matters:

  • MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Refinancing;
  • Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino – License Renewal;
    • Interestingly, during the consideration for Grand Victoria, Administrator stated that in the future the IGB will be interested in learning how Licensees and their parent companies reinvest in the property of the Licensees.
  • Rock Island Boatworks d/b/a Jumers Casino and Hotel – Rick Abramson-Executive Vice President and COO – Key Person;
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora – Hollywood Casino Joliet – Lori Ware-Taylor – Vice President of Finance – Level 1;
  • Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino – Angus Cole – Board Member/Manager – Key Person;
  • Southern Illinois Riverboat Casino Cruises, Inc. d/b/a Harrah's Metropolis Casino and Hotel – Michele Wolff – Staff Internal Auditor – Level 1; and
  • Penn National Gaming – Alton Gaming Company – Empress Casino Joliet d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet – Hollywood Casino Aurora – Shamira Mavany – Vice President of Internal Audit – Key Person.

Additionally, there were 73 Level 2 and 158 Level 3 Occupational Licenses granted and 11 denials.

There were also two disciplinary complaints issued. United States Playing Card Company was fined $10,000 for allegedly failing to notify Hollywood Casino of defective playing cards and for allegedly failing to timely implement quality controls. Isiah S. Goines had his occupational license revoked due to alleged conduct while employed at Rivers that resulted in his termination. 

That concluded the Riverboat meeting.

Video Gaming Meeting

Members present included Acting Chairman Dunn, Member Dollins, Member Allejandre, and Member Robinson who participated via telephone.  The Acting Chairman declined to make any comments, as did the Board Members.

During his comments, Administrator Ostrowski stated that there are 5,684 licensed locations with 24,446 live Video Gaming Terminals (“VGT”).  He also stated that an Illinois Supreme Court ruling had been entered in the case J&J Ventures, Inc. v. Wild, Inc. The IGB is currently waiting on a mandate from the Supreme Court and he will comment on this matter further at a future date, presumably after the IGB receives the mandate. If you would like to read the ruling, you can find it here: http://law.justia.com/cases/illinois/supreme-court/2016/119870.html.

A number of initial licenses were approved by the Board.  RCW Gaming, LLC was granted a terminal operator (“TO”) license, while 61 terminal handlers, one technician, and 105 locations were also granted initial licenses.

The Board also granted numerous license renewals. Bell Gaming, LLC’s TO license was renewed, as were the terminal hander and technician licenses for those individuals that provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fee, and complied with all other requirements. While the Board also renewed location licenses for those establishments that provided updated information, timely paid their renewal fee, and complied with all other IGB requirements, they also issued nonrenewals to Cuco’s Family Restaurant Inc. d/b/a Manny’s Saloon and Grill and Rustle Hill Winery, LLC. Conversely, Smikit Corp. d/b/a Kelly’s Irish Saloon’s previous nonrenewal was rescinded and the license was set back to active status.

As for license denials, the Board denied the following four handler applications and 11 location licenses:

  • Hayden
  • McAllister
  • Palmer
  • Toe Bar
  • Allure
  • Venise Mart
  • T&T Pizza
  • Catch 22, LLC
  • Danvers Y, Inc. d/b/a Lawndale Tap
  • Johnny’s Chophouse of Antioch, Inc.
  • Rocky Bar Inc.
  • K C 2120 Club
  • Beatles Inc.
  • Carranzakids LLC d/b/a Lucky Louise’s

There were also six requests for hearing that were denied for failure to state a prima facie case: (1) Johnny Dollar’s Inc. d/b/a Johnny Dollar’s; (2) JV Springfield, Inc. d/b/a Lazy Lou Tavern; (3) Graham C-Stores Co. d/b/a Countryside Quick Stop; (4) Oswego Petroleum Inc. d/b/a Oswego Petroleum; (5) Goals Indoor Sports, LTD d/b/a Goals Indoor Sports; and (6) Fox Gaming, LLC.

Panino’s Italian Sandwiches & Crab Shack, LLC d/b/a Panino’s Italian Sandwiches & Crab Shack was the only location granted a request to reapply.

The Board continued the trend we have become accustomed to and issued a number of disciplinary complaints against Video Gaming licensees.

  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the license of Nickles Worth LLC d/b/a The Outskirts an alleged issue with the establishment’s liquor license.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the license of the following four location licenses due to alleged issues of back taxes and/or the closure of the establishments: (1) Short Liquors, Inc. d/b/a Blue Fish Liquors & Cigars; (2) Short Liquors, Inc. a/b/d Blue Fish Liquors; (3) Short Entertainment Group – Dongola, LLC d/b/a Blue Fish Lagoon; and (4) Short Entertainment Group – Dongola, LLC d/b/a Blue Fish Lagoon.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $11,916 to Casale Pizza, Inc. for allegedly operating VGTs with an expired liquor license.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the license of D&A Co. d/b/a The Fogcutter for allegedly operating without a valid liquor license and providing false information to Board agents.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $5,000 to Downtown Bartlett Inc. for allegedly failing to cooperate with Board agents.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $1,000 to BJP Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Big Stix Sports Bar & Grill for allegedly not properly monitoring VGTs.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $5,000 to two locations for allegedly allowing individuals under 21 years of age to play VGTs: (1) Illinois Café & Service Company, LLC d/b/a Dotty’s Lamont (2) Stanley’s Family Sports Grille Inc. d/b/a Stanley’s Alehouse and Restaurant.
  • The Acting Chairman adding a brief commentary about how such a violation is a serious concern of the Board’s and multiple violations of this nature will be dealt with severely.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $2,500 to two locations for allegedly allowing unlawful gambling on the premises: (1) DDJ, Inc. d/b/a My Place and (2) Manito Tap, Inc.
  • The IGB issued a fine of $1,000 to CNT Inc. Decatur d/b/a Harley’s Hideout for allegeldy failing to disclose change of ownership.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the license of The Village Plate Company d/b/a The Village for failure to disclosure all ownership.

As its final motion, the Board moved to enter a Final Order rejecting the Administrative Law Judge’s order, therefore revoking the terminal handler license of Mark Sweeney for allegedly playing VGTs at an establishment that was supplied VGTs by his employer.

As always, if you have any questions about the recent meeting, please feel free to call us.

Donna B. More
Partner, Fox Rothschild
312.517.9215
[email protected]

Bill Bogot
Partner, Fox Rothschild
312.517.9205
[email protected]