At StakeApril 24, 2017 – Newsletters
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its monthly meeting on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Springfield.
Below is a summary of the Riverboat Meeting and the Video Gaming Meeting.
The Chairman opened the meeting by making several comments. The Chairman reported that the first individual was able to remove himself from the self-exclusion list after 10 years. The Chairman has made comments in the past about the Illinois self-exclusion list’s “permanent” status being a deterrent for individuals. He has also mentioned similar programs in other states, like Missouri, that have established time parameters, implying that he would like to implement something similar. Following that, Member Dunn thanked the Administrator for his good work and professionalism. Chairman Tracy joined those comments and stated he hopes the Administrator remains in his position for a long time.
The Board voted to approve revising the Riverboat Gambling Act (RGA) per the Governor’s recent mandate that agencies attempt to streamline their regulations and make them more understandable and transparent. The hope is that these efforts will assist and attract businesses to Illinois. In furtherance of that, IGB staff will be revising the regulations to remove unnecessary and duplicative provisions.
The meeting continued with the Board granting Ronald Baumann, Chief Operating Officer of Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino Des Plaines (Rivers Casino) a Level 1 license and approved him as a Key Person.
The Board also granted 50 Level 2 and 97 Level 3 occupational licenses and issued two notices of denials.
The Board issued disciplinary complaints revoking the occupational licenses of three individuals for reasons including an alleged retail theft conviction, alleged theft of tip monies and alleged undisclosed conduct during the individual’s employment at Rivers Casino for which he was terminated.
Lastly, the Board approved awarding outside accountant contracts to review various Riverboat Financial and Compliance Programs, specifically RFP FY18 IGB CAF Compliance Review and Agreed upon Attestation Services (PBC#22039987).
There were no Chairman or Board Member comments and the Administrator spoke briefly, only stating that there are currently more than 6,000 licensed locations with 26,350 live Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).
The Board heard public commentary from three speakers.
Bob Willenborg, J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC, asked the Board to consider and/or approve an integrated player rewards system for video gaming. According to Mr. Willenborg, implementing such a system would make the industry more transparent. Tracking rewards and free plays or promotional gifts would establish greater loyalty, customer satisfaction and would ensure the protection of the integrity of video gaming.
Bill Bogot, appearing on behalf of Konami Gaming, Inc., along with Jay Bertsh, Director of Business Development and Spencer Peterson, Senior Director of Technical Compliance, presented a similar presentation of the Konami player reward system that they are proposing for the Illinois video gaming market.
For both J&J and Konami, the Board had various follow-up questions related to how these systems could assist with problem gambling, how these systems can assist with players opting into predetermined spending limits and how (if at all) could the self-exclusion program integrate with these systems. We expect to hear further Board questions although we are hopeful that rules or regulations for these systems are proposed in the near future.
Lastly, Donna More addressed the Board to request that the Board utilize its discretionary authority to license a particular establishment where the owner has two misdemeanor convictions, both of which are more than 10 years old (the first occurred 40 years ago and the second occurred 16 years ago). The Board asked numerous questions, including whether such exercise of discretion would open the “flood gates” regarding licensing. Ms. More responded that by its nature discretion requires the review of case specific facts and further stated that the Board still has discretion to review and decide the issue of licensure on each person’s unique criminal history. In this case she argued that the location license should be granted.
Similar to the Riverboat Meeting, the Board voted to approve revising the Video Gaming Act (VGA) per the Governor’s recent mandate that agencies attempt to streamline their regulations and make them more understandable and transparent. Since the VGA is more recent than the RGA, however, the Board does not expect many revisions.
Lucky Day, LLC was granted an initial terminal operator (TO) license for one year as were the initial licenses of 32 terminal handlers and 111 locations.
There were also a number of license renewals granted. The terminal handler, technician and location licensees that were up for renewal this month and who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements were renewed, as were the licenses of the following TOs:
- Abraham Gaming, LLC
- Advantage Gaming, LLC
- Da Route LLC
- Grand River Jackpot, LLC
- Great Lakes Vending, Corporation
- Illinois Operators, Inc.
- Lucky Lincoln Gaming, LLC
- Midwest Electronics Gaming, LLC
- Schaffner Gaming LLC
- Sinbad's Castle Arcade, Ltd.
- Stellar Gaming LLC
- T's Gaming, LLC
- Velasquez Gaming, LLC
The Board denied the applications of two terminal handlers/technicians and the following 10 establishments:
- Main Street Bar and Grill LLP d/b/a Main Street Bar & Grill
- Jason Lacy d/b/a Jay Lay Sport’s Bar
- 100 Proof Gaming LLC d/b/a The Hot Spot
- Gxander LLC d/b/a Taqueria Mi Tierra
- Chalkey’s Tavern, Inc. d/b/a Chalkey’s Tavern
- Julia L Reaves d/b/a Ed & Millies Tavern
- A&A Gas Inc. d/b/a A&A Gas & Food
- Team Coleman L.L.C. d/b/a Uptown Bar & Grill
- Piper’s Place Inc.
- 2001 N. Mannheim Corp. d/b/a J’s Sports Bar & Grill in Melrose
The Board issued notices of nonrenewals to three locations: 1) Waterfront Tavern LLC d/b/a Waterfront Tavern LLC; 2) K&T Behm, Inc. Big Behms Sports Bar & Grill; and 3) Mazzarisi Gaming Inc. d/b/a Maria’s Gaming Lounge.
The request for a hearing of JRW Electrical d/b/a Bottoms Up on 7th was tabled, perhaps due to Donna More’s comments. The Board denied the request for hearing from Karzelle, Inc. d/b/a One Eyed Jacks #1.
The requests to reapply of The Dead Tree Tavern, Inc. and Taco Stan’s, LLC were granted.
The Board issued a number of disciplinary complaints against video gaming licensees.
- The Board is seeking a $5,000 fine for each of the following three establishments for allegedly failing to properly monitor the VGT areas:
- Galesburg Properties, LLC d/b/a Best Western Praire Inn
- Road Ranger, LLC d/b/a Road Ranger (License # 121004155)
- Pete’s Pub Inc., d/b/a Sunset Lanes
- Stella’s – Plaza of Westlake, LLC d/b/a Stella’s Place was issued a $10,000 fine for allegedly not preventing underage access to VGTs.
- The Board is seeking to revoke the establishment license of D’s Bistro Inc. d/b/a D’s Bistro Inc. for allegedly not having a liquor license for four months. The Board described this as an extreme length of time.
- The Board is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Schmoe’s Inc. d/b/a Schmoe’s Inc. for an alleged active tax liability.
- The Board is seeking to revoke two establishment licenses for allegedly having an active tax liability and other issues:
- Town Hall Lounge, Inc. d/ba/ Town Hall Lounge
- AOD Management Inc. d/b/a Mt Olive Bowl
- The Board is seeking a $5,000 fine from B&R Just One More, LLC d/b/a Just One More for allegedly not disclosing a Person with Significant Influence or Control (PSIC).
- The Board is seeking revocation of the location license of Nancy L. Derubeis d/b/a Steve and Nancy’s Boardwalk Tap for allegedly having an undisclosed PSIC and misrepresenting information to the Board.
- The Board is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Las Adelitas Mexican Restaurant due to alleged criminal activity at the location and the fact that the location is now closed.
- The Board is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Sapphire Inc. as they claim the license was granted in error and allegedly the location never should have been licensed in the first place because it is in located within a “casino mall.”
The Board granted a motion to rescind the dissociation notice issued to Gold Rush Amusements, Inc. related to Michael D. Stillman and MB Stillman Group.
The Board granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlements and dismiss the complaints issued against Dennis Strader d/b/a Champ’s and Joken Inc. d/b/a Kens Viaduct Lounge.
Please call if you have any questions or concerns regarding anything that happened at this months meeting. Also remember that if you have any comments regarding any of the proposed rule amendments please bring them to us. This week, JCAR is addressing the amendment to the designated gaming areas. If you would like to make comments regarding the proposed amendments to the designated gaming area, please let us know. You can find the proposed amendment in the March 17, 2017, Illinois Register. The Register can be found here: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/home.html.
Donna B. More
Partner, Fox Rothschild
Partner, Fox Rothschild