United States: At Stake (November 3, 2016)

p>The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its recent monthly meeting on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at the Thompson Center in Chicago, the day after the world's greatest baseball victory by our very own beloved Chicago Cubs! We were all a little ragged from the late night event, however, the Board came prepared for business as always. 

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

Riverboat Meeting

All Board Members were present at today's meeting. The Chairman opened the meeting by stating the schedule for 2017 is currently being finalized and it is expected to be posted to the IGB's website next week. He stated that he would save all of his additional comments for the Video Gaming Meeting.

The other Board Members declined to make additional comments, however, the Administrator used his time to briefly discuss a conversation between the IGB and the Casino Gaming Association regarding internal controls and a potential systems change request. He also thanked the casinos for the continued dialog surrounding these matters.

The Board heard initial consideration for Casino Queen, Inc. regarding a request to refinance its current credit facility and Penn National Gaming's pending refinancing. The Board tabled the final consideration for Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino Des Plaines refinancing proposal and the supplier renewal of Gaming Partners International USA, Inc. but granted the following approvals:

  • William Irving Wright as Sr. Vice President of Operations and Key Person for Boyd Central Region, Inc. – Boyd Gaming Corp., Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino;
  • Jack M. Grumieaux as Security Manager of Hollywood Casino Aurora, Level 1 Licensee;
  • Albert Britton as Sr. Vice President of Regional Operations and Key Person of Penn National Gaming, Alton Gaming Company, Empress Casino Joliet d/b/a Hollywood Casino Joliet and Hollywood Casino Aurora; and
  • The transfer of ownership for estate planning purposes of the indirect owners of Grand Victoria Casino.

Additionally, there were 51 Level 2 and 101 Level 3 occupational licenses granted and one denial. There were also five hearing requests for occupational licensees that were denied for failure to establish prima facie cases or otherwise complying with Board rules.

The following five disciplinary complaints were issued: 1) Bally Gaming was fined $10,000 for allegedly shipping gaming media within gaming devices to Rivers Casino rather than separately to the dock site; 2) Level 2 occupation licensee, Eugene Clark, was fined $250 for allegedly failing to prevent an underage individual from entering the gaming area of Casino Queen; 3) Level 2 occupation licensee, Douglas Lee, Sr., was fined $500 for allegedly failing to prevent an underage individual from entering the gaming area of Casino Queen; 4) Casino Queen was fined $5,000 for allegedly failing to properly monitor the gaming area thereby failing to prevent underage individuals from entering; and 5) the IGB is seeking to revoke the occupational license of Christopher Snyder for allegedly engaging in theft.

That concluded the Riverboat meeting.

Video Gaming Meeting

During the Chairman's opening comments, he thanked Member Dunn for acting as Chairman at the October meeting in his absence. The Chairman made additional comments regarding the soon to be proposed video gaming self-exclusion list, so-called "casino malls" and pending litigation and the pending Inducement Policy. The Chairman stated that while the creation of a video gaming self-exclusion list is not without its challenges, they are making progress and hope to have more to share at next month's meeting. He added that the intent is to coordinate the video self-exclusion list rule with the riverboat rule, while correcting for the lifetime ban that appears to be a product of the riverboat procedures.

Secondly, the Chairman discussed the pending Hometown litigation and stated he was pleased the Appellate Court granted a stay in the case. He added that the Board feels very strongly that so-called casino malls are "back-door casinos" devoid of the rules and regulations that govern casinos. He added that he believes the J&J Ventures, Inc. v. Wild, Inc. court decision will further support the Board's decisions on various matters.

Lastly, the Chairman stated that staff have halted work on the revised Inducement Policy while awaiting legislation. If no such legislation is implemented, the IGB is expected to further address the matter after January 1, 2017.

The Administrator followed the Chairman's comments by adding that there are 5,715 licensed locations with 24,615 live Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs). He also made brief mention of the roll out of G2S technology in the near future.

The IGB's legal staff next addressed the Board and proposed changes to Rule 220. The proposed changes would allow the Administrator to issue fines to licensees based on a failure to provide updates to the IGB. In the amendment to Rule 220, terminal technicians and terminal handlers that fail to timely update the IGB regarding their criminal history (i.e., any new arrests) will be fined $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second offense. Similarly, the next amendment to Rule 220 that licensed establishments that fail to maintain valid liquor licenses would be fined the Net Terminal Income (NTI) earned for the period of operating without a valid liquor license. The deadline for reporting such a license lapse is 60 days.

There were no new terminal operator (TO) licenses issued, however, initial licenses were granted to 41 terminal handlers, one technician and 57 locations. Additionally, there were a number of license renewals granted. Angelle & Green Gaming LLC, Barcade Gaming LLC and Dearborn Gaming LLC were all granted TO license renewals, as were the terminal handers and technician licenses that were up for renewal this month that provided updated information to the IGB, timely paid their renewal fees and complied with all other requirements. While the Board also renewed those location licenses up this month that provided updated information, timely paid their renewal fee and complied with all other IGB requirements, the IGB did not renew the location licenses for five locations: 1) Los Charros, Inc. d/b/a Los Charros; 2) Los Charros of Aledo, Inc. d/b/a Los Charros of Aledo; 3) Los Charros of Carthage, Inc. d/b/a Los Charros of Carthage, Inc.; 4) Schmoe's Inc. d/b/a Schmoe's Inc.; and 5) Danny Carney, Inc. d/b/a Joker's Bar & Grill.

The Board denied one terminal handler license and the following four establishments:

  • Monessa Corporation d/b/a Mango Restaurant
  • Smith Beverages, Inc. d/b/a City Limits
  • Voula Inc. d/b/a Big Skillet Restaurant
  • Nardos Barbecue Restaurant Bar and Grill, Inc. d/b/a Nardos Barbecue Restaurant Bar and Grill

There were four requests for hearing that were denied for failure to state a prima facie case: 1) Danvers Y, Inc. d/b/a Lawndale Tap; 2) Johnny's Chophouse of Antioch, Inc.; 3) Rocky Bar Inc.; and 4) K C 2120 Club. In contrast, three requests to reapply were issued. Russell Oil Co. d/b/a Roc #8, Iron-Spike Brewing Company and Greater Rockford Airport Authority have all been granted leave to reapply for an establishment license. Further, the Board rescinded the denial of Marlin Palmer and granted him a terminal technician and terminal handler license.

The Board issued a number of disciplinary complaints against Video Gaming licensees:

  • Road Ranger, L.L.C (license # 121004155) was fined $5,000 for allegedly failing to montitor its VGTs.
  • Giles & Giles, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Dave's Restaurant was fined $5,000 for allegedly allowing underage patrons access to VGTs.
  • Digger's College City Bowl, Inc. d/b/a Digger's College City was fined $5,000 for allegedly allowing underage patrons access to VGTs.
  • Johnny Cox II was fined $500 and AP Gaming was fined $1,000 for their involvement in allegedly accessing VGTs improperly.
  • Rantoul Club, Inc. d/b/a Rantoul Club, Inc. was fined $5,000 for allegedly allowing unlawful gaming at its location.
  • Berwyn Eagles Aerie 2125 FOE, d/b/a Berwyn Eagles was fined $5,000 for allegedly allowing unlawful gaming at its location.
  • S.M. & S.F. Club d/b/a SM & SF Club was fined $5,000 for allegedly allowing unlawful gaming at its location.
  • The following locations are each being fined the total NTI during the period in which the locations were allegedly operating with an expired liquor license:

    • Aly Anne's LLC d/b/a Aly Anne's LLC
    • Gorda, Inc. d/b/a Linda's Family Restaurant
    • Hoopers Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. d/b/a Hooper's Sports Bar & Grill
    • Marthaler Holdings LLC d/b/a Three Star Liquors & Tavern
    • Shmegals Incorporated d/b/a Patti's Café     
    • Platinum Player Café LLC d/b/a Platinum Player Café  
    • Wasabi Japanese Kitchen LLC d/b/a Diamond's Sushi & Food
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Lisa S. Cummings d/b/a Charlie & Lisa's Tavern for allegedly violating the rule that VGT owners and managers are prohibited from playing machines and allegedly attempting to deceive the IGB.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the terminal handler license of Michael McCorkle for allegedly failing to disclose arrest and conviction record and failing to maintain minimum qualifications of a licensee.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment licenses of the following locations for allegedly failing to maintain a valid liquor license:

    • Janssen Business Group, Inc. d/b/a DeeCor's Pub
    • Abstract American Bar & Grill, Inc. d/b/a Abstract American Bar & Grill
    • Dennis Strader d/b/a Champ's 
    • Elite Café & Billiards, Inc. d/b/a Elite Billiards                    
    • 27 Irving Park, LLC d/b/a Horseshoe Inn
    • Chickasaw, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro

Until next month!

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