At Stake

April 19, 2019Newsletters

Happy Easter and Chag Sameach!

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its April monthly meeting in Chicago on Thursday, April 17, 2019. Below is a brief synopsis of the meeting. However, if you’d like to hear the discussions, the Illinois Gaming Board’s website has the full recording of the meeting. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, concerns or comments about this meeting.

The meeting started with the approval of last month’s meeting minutes and continued with the Chairman’s opening comments. In his comments, Chairman Tracy thanked former Member Alejandre for his service and dedication, congratulated Member Robinson on her recent marriage, welcomed Member Dolins back from tax season hiatus, and reminded meeting attendees that the next meeting is June 13, 2019.

The Chairman also welcomed a new member, Ruben Ramirez, Jr. Member Ramirez is a 28-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department and is currently assigned to the Special Functions Marine/Helicopter Unit and detailed to The Bureau of Organized Crime. You can find more information on Member Ramirez, as well as the other members, on the IGB’s website.

The Members had no opening comments and the Administrator spoke only briefly to state that there are currently 6,851 live locations operating 31,091 live video gaming terminals (VGTs). The Chairman followed the Administrator’s comments by briefly mentioning gaming expansion and sports gambling. He stated that the IGB has not been contacted by legislators to discuss sports gambling, but he believes the IGB has a lot expertise and knowledge on the matter and he would encourage legislators to utilize the IGB as a resource.

The meeting continued with comments from the public. Three presenters addressed the Board. Randi Wagner, owner of Wagner’s Lounge, and Clint Koester, owner of The Knotty Pine Bar & Grill LLC, both requested the Board’s help with matters surrounding use agreements, the termination of an existing agreement, and switching terminal operators. Both individuals were encouraged by the Administrator to call the IGB’s Legal Department for information and assistance. The third speaker, Sherry Wessel, of Southern Illinois Riverboat/Casino Cruises, LLC d/b/a Harrah’s Metropolis Casino, spoke regarding the riverboat’s recent flooding. She stated that as a result of the flooding, the casino was forced to close its doors for 30 days, but it is currently making improvements to the property to hopefully correct such issues in the future.

RIVERBOAT

The Board began the Riverboat session by presenting a proposed amendment to Riverboat Rules, specifically Amendment to 86 Ill. Adm. Code 3000.286, to implement the provisions of Public Act 100-1152 (SB 3387) relating to casino contracting goals for veteran-owned businesses.

The Board next addressed initial consideration of owner licensee renewal for The Rock Island Boatworks, Inc. d/b/a Jumers Casino & Hotel. Final consideration for renewal will be at the June meeting. The meeting continued with the following key persons or Level 1 occupational licensees being approved:

  • Charles Natoli, Jr. as a Level 1 occupational licensee for Elgin Riverboat Resort d/b/a Grand Victoria Casino in his role as the Chief Information Officer;
  • Jason Grover as a Level 1 occupational licensee for Alton Casino, LLC d/b/a Argosy Casino Alton in his role as IT Director;
  • Julie Montana as a Key Person for Suzohapp Gaming Solutions, LLC in her role as President; and
  • Ronald Partridge as a Key Person for Suzohapp Gaming Solutions, LLC in his role as President/CEO of Suzohapp, Inc.

The Board also moved to approve the final consideration of supplier licensee, Advantage Promotional Systems, Inc. and issue occupational licenses to 73 Level 2 and 174 Level 3 applicants. In a separate motion, the Board approved a single Level 2 licensee which Member Robinson opposed. In total, the Board approved 248 Level 2 and Level 3 occupational licensees and issued notices of denial to five individuals.

In regards to a request for hearing they received from Chad Jenkins, the Board moved to rescind its previous denial, grant Mr. Jenkins a Level 2 occupational license, and deny his request for a hearing as moot. 

Lastly, the Board issued a number of disciplinary complaints against Level 2 and Level 3 occupational licensees. Some of the individuals were terminated for alleged misconduct while at the casino, alleged violations of casino policies, or alleged failure to pay an IGB issued fine. In total, there were 13 disciplinary complaints issued and the Board is seeking license revocation in all cases.

The Riverboat session then concluded.

VIDEO GAMING

Like the Riverboat session, the Board began the Video Gaming session by presenting proposed amendments to the Rules, specifically: (1) Rule 210 barring licensees from employing individuals under the age of 18 years regardless of the nature of the relationship (such as a paid position versus an internship), and (2) Section 1800.321 of the Video Gaming Act, Procurement of Use Agreements.

The proposed amendments to Section 1800.321 focuses on sales agents and the procurement of use agreements and states the following, in draft form:

  • A Terminal Operator must disclose to the IGB all individuals and entities who may procure a Use Agreement prior to that person or entity procuring or attempting to procure a Use Agreement.
  • An agreement between a Sales Agent and a Terminal Operator must: (1) upon the issuance of an order of economic disassociation of that Sales Agent, immediately terminate, thus cancelling all future payments; (2) allow only for payment to the Sales Agent prior to or contingent upon VGTs becoming operational; and (3) not allow for bonus or other incentive payments.
  • No Terminal Operator can loan a Sales Agent money using a Use Agreement or the prospect of a Use Agreement as collateral.
  • If an order of economic disassociation is contested in an administrative hearing, payments owed to that Sales Agent must cease until after the Board issues its final order.  If the Board upholds the disassociation, no further payments can be made.  If not, then the payments can be continued.

We understand that these proposed regulations are not entirely clear. We will notify you when public commentary begins and we can work with you to submit any suggested revisions you may have to this proposed rule.

The meeting continued with the Board granting a number of license renewals. The terminal handler, technician and location licensees that were up for renewal this month and those who provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements were renewed. The following licensees were also renewed:

  • AGS, LLC (manufacturer/distributor/supplier);
  • Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Arkadian Gaming, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Ashiq Gaming, LLC (terminal operator);
  • B&B Amusement of IL, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Compact Disc Amusements, Limited (terminal operator);
  • Da Route LLC (terminal operator);
  • Emperor Video Slots Corporation (terminal operator);
  • Eureka Entertainment, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Fair Share Gaming, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Gaming & Entertainment Management – Illinois LLC (terminal operator);
  • Grand River Jackpot, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Great Lakes Vending Corporation (terminal operator);
  • Illinois Operators, Inc. (terminal operator);
  • Leisure Time Gaming & Amusements, Inc. (terminal operator);
  • Lucky Day LLC (terminal operator);
  • Midwest Electronics Gaming, LLC (terminal operator);
  • Sinbad’s Castle Arcade, Ltd. (terminal operator);
  • T’s Gaming, LLC (terminal operator); and
  • Velasquez Gaming, LLC (terminal operator).

The meeting continued with initial licenses being issued to:

  • Top Notch Entertainment, LLC (a new terminal operator);
  • 89 terminal handlers;
  • 1 terminal technician; and
  • 144 video gaming locations.

The Board moved to grant a location license to CH House Corp. d/b/a The Coach House Bar & Grill, however, the motion failed because Member Dolins recused himself and the Chairman was opposed, therefore, the motion did not have the required three votes. The Board motioned to table consideration of three applications: Nicolamarko Foods and Liquor, Inc. d/b/a Foremost Food & Liquor, Foremost Food & Liquor, Sangamo Surf Club d/b/a Sangamo Surf Club, and Television-Radio-Newspaper Club of Springfield d/b/a TRN Club of Springfield. Regarding Foremost Food & Liquor, the Board stated new information was received prior to today’s meeting that warranted consideration. Regarding Sangamo Surf Club and TRN Club of Springfield, both “key clubs,” the Chairman stated some of the staff has concerns because locations are locked to the public and therefore the IGB does not have readily available access to the establishments for proper monitoring. Also for these locations, the Chairman recused himself stating that since the clubs are in his town, he may know the members or his law firm may represent the club or its members.

The Board also denied the applications of three terminal handlers/technicians and the following 21 locations:

  • Diaz Maya’s Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Maya’s Restaurant;
  • Alibye, Inc. d/b/a Club 717;
  • Figueroa Restaurants, LTD d/b/a Buena Vista;
  • Julia L. Reaves d/b/a Ed & Millies Tavern;
  • Mars Supermarket, Inc. d/b/a Mars Supermarket, Inc.;
  • Untouchables Motorcycle Club d/b/a Untouchables Motorcycle Club;
  • Wileniel Medina Pagan d/b/a Noche Azul Sports Bar;
  • Ottawa A’lure, Inc. d/b/a A’lure;
  • Chances R, LLC d/b/a Chances R;
  • Voice Enterprises, LLC d/b/a SanDDy’s;
  • Carlos Mexican Grill & Seafood #4 Inc. d/b/a Carlos Mexican Grill & Seafood #4 Inc.;
  • El Jalapeno, Inc. d/b/a El Jalapeno, Inc.;
  • Davey Inc. d/b/a Nutties;
  • Hacienda El Sombrero Restaurant Bar, Corp., d/b/a Hacienda El Sombrero;
  • Kayleigh Shoup d/b/a The Tipsy Hippie;
  • Trackside Diner and Bar LLC d/b/a Trackside Diner and Bar;
  • Washington Ent. LLC d/b/a Ava’s Cafe;
  • Donald Johnson d/b/a Rail City Saloon;
  • El Nuevo Vallarta Sports Bar and Grill Inc. d/b/a El Nuevo Vallarta Sports Bar and Grill;
  • Drewskie’s LLC d/b/a Drewskie’s, LLC; and
  • Pitch Peoria LLC d/b/a Pitch Karaoke Bar.

The Board received and granted the request for a hearing of Lucky Esther’s Inc. d/b/a Lucky Esther’s Inc., the request to withdrawal a request for a hearing from Wonder Foods, Inc. d/b/a Wonder Foods and the requests to reapply from the following three locations:

  • Pilot Travel Centers LLC d/b/a Pilot Travel Center #643;
  • Downtown Lounge, Inc. d/b/a Downtown Lounge; and
  • BNT Group LLC d/b/a BP Washington Park.

The Board voted to issue a number of notices of disassociations to terminal operators:

  • Gaming & Entertainment Management – Illinois LLC received notice to disassociate from Timothy T. Evans;
  • Hyperactive Gaming, LLC received notice to disassociate from James A. Jones and Wilma Cabell;
  • Illinois Gaming Investors LLC d/b/a Prairie State Gaming, LLC received notice to disassociate from Tina Goodwin;
  • Velasquez Gaming received notice to disassociate from Nicholas Nikrolious; and
  • Lucky Lincoln Gaming, LLC received notice to disassociate from Eric Platt.

* While we try our best to accurately spell the names of individuals and locations, we may make mistakes. Please note any misspellings are accidental as these names are not available on the IGB’s website.

The Board granted authority to the Administrator and staff to enter into settlements and dismiss the complaints when appropriate to the following six licensees:

  • Doc’s Diner Inc. d/b/a Doc’s Diner;
  • Lansing Investments Corp. d/b/a Kilroy’s;
  • Scorchy’s Café Italiano Inc. d/b/a Scorchy’s Café Italiano;
  • Tap Room Gaming, LLC;
  • Algonquin Commons Co. d/b/a Bulldog Alehouse; and
  • Jack’s or Better, Inc. d/b/a Jack’s or Better.

Lastly, the Board adopted the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) recommendation and decision as a final board order in the case against C&D’s Silver Dollar Lounge, Inc. d/b/a C&D’s Silver Dollar Lounge in which the ALJ allegedly affirmed that the location was at fault.

The meeting was then adjourned.

You read that correctly! There was not a single disciplinary complaint issued against a Video Gaming licensee! We will have to double check our records, but this may be the first time in history! 

Please call us with any questions, and have a great a weekend.