At Stake

February 12, 2018Newsletters

In very snowy Chicago weather, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its monthly meeting on February 9, 2018. Only the very brave attended! 

RIVERBOAT

After the approval of the meeting minutes from the January 2018 meeting, the Chairman introduced the new Board Member, Michael Hanson. Mr. Hanson began his career as the in-house lawyer for the riverboat formerly called Empress Joliet Casino. He is now in private practice at a law firm in Joliet. With this appointment, the Board is now back to five members.

The Board also announced it would hold a special meeting on March 7, 2018. The Open Session portion of this meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Before getting into the substance of the agenda, the Board wished Mark Ostrowski a Happy Birthday!

In items for initial consideration, the Board heard a request from Penn National Gaming for finance approval regarding its merger transaction with Pinnacle Entertainment and for financing information regarding Boyd Gaming's acquisition of five additional properties.

Regarding items for final consideration, the IGB approved a Casino Queen refinancing and approved Kimberly Ward as a Vice President of Internal Audit for Harrah’s Metropolis and Harrah’s Joliet.

The Board issued a number of disciplinary complaints: Konami was fined $5000 for allegedly a tardy submission of its update materials; Harrah’s Metropolis was fined $25,000 for allegedly permitting an individual on the self-exclusion list to cash a check and gamble at the property. In addition, the Board issued five license revocations to individuals who allegedly failed to disclose arrests, had a criminal conviction or were found to be under the influence while at work.

Finally, Jim Lopinski, the Deputy Administrator of Audit, spoke to the IGB regarding the minority business program and riverboat compliance. Mr. Lopinski said that he plans to provide a report to the Board at the April 2018 meeting regarding the riverboats’ utilization of women and minority owned suppliers and, in particular, the spend amounts with minority owned businesses. Each of the riverboats will be receiving a letter from Mr. Lopinski requesting information so that he can compile a report for the Board.

VIDEO GAMING

The Board approved its minutes for the January 2018 meeting. The Chairman announced that pending hearing requests would not be considered at this meeting.

The Administrator reported that there are 6,403 locations operating a total of 28,500+ video gaming terminals. He also reported that the G2S implementation is going smoothly.

Kathy Gilroy spoke during public commentary. She reiterated her position that the Board needs to have a policy requiring video gaming locations to check I.D.s and compare those with the riverboat self-exclusion list to prevent compulsive gamblers from gambling.

IGB staff attorney Sheera Hobfoll made a presentation under Board Policy items. She requested an amendment to Rule 570 to provide a better process regarding locations with tax liabilities. In short, the amendment would allow a location which has been denied a license leave to reapply without Board approval once the liability has been paid. The Chairman said he did not recall reviewing the draft rule in his Board packet for this month. Ms. Hobfoll said that the rule had not yet been drafted. The Chairman stated that he would not approve a rule for filing until they have actually reviewed the draft rule. The Board did direct staff to draft this rule for review at a future meeting.

Patriot Gaming & Electronics was granted renewal of its manufacturer license. GTAV Gaming, LLC was denied a terminal operator license. The following terminal operators had their licenses renewed:

  • American Video Gaming, LLC; Awesome Hand Services, LLC
  • Gold Rush Amusements, Inc.; Lattner Entertainment Group, LLC
  • Melody Gaming, LLC; Renville Gaming, LLC
  • Skyhigh Gaming, LLC.

The Board issued a disassociation order to Accel Entertainment to disassociate from its sales agent, Anthony Curtale.

The Board approved 56 terminal handlers and denied five handler licenses. There were 76 video gaming establishments approved for licensure while five were denied. The denied locations were:

  • Adam Eccles d/b/a Lazy Bonz Liquors
  • BSZ Inc. d/b/a Brookfield Ale House
  • Mick and Mary’s Inc. d/b/a Mick and Marys
  • Wonder Foods Inc. d/b/a Wonder Foods
  • Jesse Myers d/b/a Sity Hall

The Board also renewed annual licenses that were up for renewal this month, where the annual renewal fee was paid and the licensees updated their applications. 

Many disciplinary actions were issued today. The IGB revoked a handler license for allegedly failing to disclose an arrest and conviction. Two related locations, Jenny’s LLC – Freeburg d/b/a The Wayward Pub and Jenny’s LLC – Sparta d/b/a The Wayward Pub, had their licenses revoked for alleged active tax liabilities and the dissolution of the master entity while two other locations, Arrowwood Financial Corp. d/b/a Ashwood Bar and Grill and Durbins Inc. d/b/a Durbins Express, had their licenses revoked for alleged tax liabilities and expired liquor licenses. 

There were 17 locations fined $5000 in IGB sting operations for allegedly allowing underage patrons to gamble:

  • Alonso LLC d/b/a Potesta’s Pizza
  • Bertrand Lounge, Inc. d/b/a Bertrand Lounge
  • Olympic Flame Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Anastasia’s Restaurant
  • Big Ed’s BBQ LLC d/b/a Big Ed’s Bar & Grill
  • 17 North, LLC d/b/a 17 North
  • Chen’s Buffet Inc. d/b/a Hunan Buffet
  • Gountanis Enterprises Inc. d/b/a Gojos
  • La Opera, Inc. d/b/a La Opera
  • Hallie & Glenn Inc. d/b/a D’Arcy’s Pint
  • Amsia Market LLC d/b/a Annie’s Place
  • Chronister Oil Company d/b/a Qik-N-EZ (#151000612)
  • Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. d/b/a Love’s Travel Stop #249
  • Capitol Show-Me’s, Inc. d/b/a Show-Me’s
  • The Village Tavern of Long Grove, Inc. d/b/a The Village Tavern of Long Grove
  • R.W. Skip Smith, Inc. d/b/a Jesse Oaks
  • Hanover Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Fire House Pub
  • BBQ’D Productions Inc. d/b/a BBQ’D Productions

Member Robinson expressed concerned about the number of locations caught up in these stings.

Two locations had their licenses revoked because the owners allegedly have felony convictions: Heather Cox d/b/a Petie’s Place and JD Elliott, Inc. d/b/a JD’s Cues and Brews. Tailgater’s Bar and Grille L.L.C. d/b/a Tailgaters Bar and Grille L.L.C. had its license revoked for allegedly failing to disclose a conviction of its owner. Satellite Tavern LLC d/b/a Satellite Tavern had its license revoked for allegedly failing to disclose the felony convictions of two of its PSICs.

The Board reviewed two decisions from their Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In Backwater Bar & Grill, Inc. d/b/a Backwater Bar & Grill, the Board voted to adopt the ALJ decision and it revoked the license of this location. In Phase IV – D, Inc. d/b/a Trudy’s Café Cash Island, the Board voted to adopt the ALJ decision and it granted the location its license. 

The meeting was then adjourned.