United States: At Stake (July 21, 2016)

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday. Below is a summary of both the Riverboat and Video Gaming meetings.

Riverboat Meeting

The Chairman discussed that the IGB will be sending out a letter to the riverboats to discuss minority spending. In short, while some categories of purchases will be exempt, the IGB wants to encourage and more accurately track spending with minority companies.

The next item on the agenda was public commentary. There were two speakers: Martin Storm of BMM Test Labs and Kevin Mullally of GLI. Mr. Storm spoke in support of having multiple test labs approved in Illinois. He said that Illinois is the only jurisdiction using a sole source independent lab model. He said multiple labs would encourage competition and be a benefit to both the IGB and the industry. Mr. Mullally was against changing the status quo. He said that GLI is not a monopoly. Rather it is the winner of various RFPs. GLI said that its client is IGB, not the industry, and that, in its view, it is better for IGB to remain in sole control of the test lab function. Mr. Mullally stated that GLI was the better company and thus Illinois should not approve a company that came in second in an RFP process.

Hollywood Casino had its Director of Finance and Assistant General Manager approved. Harrah's Joliet had a staff internal auditor approved. Michael Rumbolz was approved as President and CEO of Everi Holdings, Inc.

Video Gaming Meeting

The Chairman stated that he believes a revised inducement policy will be introduced at the next IGB meeting and thanked the industry for its comments. He said the IGB is still reviewing how to handle problem gamblers.

The Administrator reported that there are 5,541 locations that are operational with a total of 23,700 VGTs.

FJC Technologies and Pocket Aces Gaming were approved as terminal operators. GFM Gaming, Illinois Gaming and Coin-Op, Illinois Gaming Investors (retroactive to May 2016) and Universal Gaming Group all had their TO licenses renewed.

The IGB also ordered Gold Rush to disassociate from six individuals who had been submitted as OIPs. The individuals are: Shabbir Nooruddin; William Cash and Diana Johns; John Horist III; Vincent Okray; Jack Buttia and Carrie Buttita.

CountR GmbH had its initial supplier license renewed as did M3 Technology Solutions.

The Board approved 60 handler licenses, one technician license and it denied six handler/technician licenses. It appears that all the denials were based on the alleged failure of the applicants to fully disclose their arrest history.

The Board approved 127 locations. IGB denied the following five locations: Peyton's Pub & Grub; G&G Motor Sports dba Tri-City Speedway; Shaun's Place; Beacon Hill Groceries; and Taco Stans. Toom Toom Thai Restaurant was also approved as a location in a 3-2 IGB vote.

Three requests for hearings from locations were denied: Shooter's Bar & Grill; Rantoul Pizza; and CC's Grove Inn.

The IGB took the following disciplinary actions. A complaint was issued against Lagoon Lounge for its alleged failure to prevent underage access to VGTs. The location will have its license revoked or it may pay a $5,000 fine. A complaint was issued against Redd Diamonds revoking its license for allegedly failing to disclose criminal history information. TT's Place, Lyle Fessenden and Jeffrey Rios all received complaints revoking their licenses for failure to disclose changes in information.

IGB issued complaints against two handlers revoking their licenses for alleged thefts that occurred in the course of their employment. Two handlers had complaints and a $500 fine issued for their alleged failure to disclose recent arrests. Three handlers were suspended for five days for allegedly failing to timely renew their licenses and their TO, Accel Entertainment, was fined $3,000 for allegedly failing to oversee the timely renewal of these handler licenses.

Socks Sports Bar had a complaint issued revoking its location license relating to an alleged theft issue. Alberto's Pizza had its license revoked for allegedly associating with unsavory people.

The IGB, after reviewing the administrative record, accepted the ALJ recommendation revoking the location license of Rockford Hospitality of Illinois due to a felony conviction of the owner.

Finally, the IGB adopted the following settlements: Rockford Parlor – a $40,000 fine for operating VGTs without a valid liquor license; Genldale Heights VFW – a $7,000 fine for operating VGTs without a valid liquor license; Spott Lounge – an $11,250 fine for operating VGTs without a valid liquor license; and American Legion 113 - $5,000 fine for operating an illegal gambling game.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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