United States: At Stake - December 2016

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its last meeting for 2016 on December 14 in Chicago. Below is a summary of the Riverboat Meeting and the Video Gaming Meeting for your review. If you have any questions or want to discuss any of the topics listed herein, please contact us. 2017 will be here before you know it and your comments and concerns for the gaming industry are very important to us.

Riverboat Meeting

After a somewhat late start, the Riverboat Meeting proceeded quickly. All Board Members were present at the meeting and the Chairman's brief commentary was limited to discussing the 2017 schedule and emphasizing the tentative Springfield meetings in April and November. The schedule is below for your convenience:

  • Wednesday, January 25 and Thursday, January 26
  • Tuesday, February 21 and Wednesday, February 22
  • Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23
  • Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 – Springfield
  • Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25
  • Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28
  • Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24
  • Wednesday, September 20 and Thursday, September 21
  • Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19 – Springfield
  • Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16

The Board Members and Administrator declined to make any additional comments and there were no public commentary speakers.

While there were no matters to be heard for initial consideration, the IGB heard final consideration and approved the following items: Penn National Gaming's proposed refinancing, Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino Des Plaines's refinancing, Jillian Wilcox's Level 1 occupational license as VP Finance for Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino (Rivers) and Joshua J. San Salvador's Level 1 occupational license as Assistant General Manager of Rivers.

There were 57 Level 2 and 127 Level 3 occupational licenses granted and one disciplinary complaint issued to Patriot Gaming for allegedly failing to timely file an annual update resulting in a $5,000 fine.

The IGB rescinded the disciplinary complaint issued at the October 2016 meeting against United States Playing Card Company and delegated the authority to the Administrator to issue a warning to the company. The IGB also delegated authority to the Administrator to enter into settlement proceedings with Casino Queen pertaining to the disciplinary complaint issued against them at the November 2016 meeting.

That concluded the Riverboat meeting.

Video Gaming Meeting

During the Chairman's opening comments of the Video Gaming Meeting, he mentioned both the pending Inducement Policy and self-exclusion list. He stated that he expects the Inducement Policy to be implemented February 1, 2017, barring legislative action. Similarly, the Chairman stated that the staff has made a lot of progress in regards to the self-exclusion rule despite its challenging nature and he hopes to be able to present the completed plan at the January 2017 meeting.

The Administrator followed the Chairman's comments by adding that there are 5,732 licensed locations with 24,811 live Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).

During the public commentary, the IGB allowed Mr. Scott Renville, Vice President of Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association (IGMOA) to present a brief summary of the contributions the organization has made to the gaming industry during the year. Included were IGMOA's efforts to educate location owners on their regulatory responsibilities, assist in the fight against problem gambling and remain an active member of the state's legislative process.

Mr. Renville briefly discussed IGMOA sponsored events and forums held to further educate licensees on their responsibilities, the regulatory process and IGB rules. IGMOA views itself as an asset for industry members including the 44 participating terminal operators (TO) and the thousands of locations partnered with those TOs. The majority of Mr. Renville's presentation, however, discussed IGMOA's extensive work with the Illinois Alliance on Problem Gambling. IGMOA is committed to solving the issue of problem gambling and wants to be an integral part of the solution. IGMOA's goals include the implantation of a new communication platform for individuals needing help, a new four-pronged proposal and initiative to battle problem gambling and the continued collaboration with regulators during the rulemaking process. After Mr. Renville's concluding comments, the Chairman complimented the presentation and thanked Mr. Renville for the helpful information.

The IGB approved an initial TO license for Jackpot Video Gaming Inc., but denied the application of Global Gaming Industries LLC (GGI). Prior to the IGB's motion to deny GGI's license, Donna More addressed the IGB to give a voice to GGI and respectfully challenge the IGB's perception that a company owned by a woman is more likely to be influenced by the owner's significant other than would a male-owned company.

There were 36 terminal handler licenses and 86 locations licenses approved. Additionally, there were a number of license renewals granted. Springfield Gaming, LLC was granted its TO license renewal and Illinois Rewards, Inc. was granted its supplier renewal. Those 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 were also approved. While the IGB 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 license for Arcade Café & Pancake House Inc. d/b/a Arcade Café & Pancake House.

The IGB issued a notice of disassociation to Gaming & Entertainment Management for its alleged connection to Melissa Mendino Hector and tabled a notice of disassociation to LZ Entertainment.

The IGB delegated to the Administrator the authority to enter into settlements and allow legal counsel to present the settlement to the Administrative Law Judge for the disciplinary complaints against Wasabi Japanese Kitchen LLC d/b/a Diamond's Sushi & Food and MIH Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Fireside Ale House. The IGB also rescinded the denial of Danny Carney, Inc. d/b/a Joker's Bar & Grill, granted its establishment renewal license and thus rendered its request for a hearing as moot.

The IGB denied the following 11 establishments location licenses:

  • Stone Lake Partners, LLC d/b/a Club Allure Chicago
  • Isaac Sanders d/b/a Marque Place
  • Candi Stith d/b/a Las Huertas Grill
  • BP Evergreen, LLC d/b/a BP Evergreen, LLC
  • JCJ Beverages II, Inc. d/b/a Balen's Bar & Grill
  • Red Carpet Ent Inc. d/b/a Red Carpet Lounge
  • JEP Inc. d/b/a Hamilton's Pub
  • CR Thirteen Peoria Heights LLC d/b/a Lucky's Modern Dive
  • Aragona Corporation d/b/a Aragona Club
  • Good Shakti, LLC d/b/a Hott 7's
  • D. M. Vidor, Inc. d/b/a Remington's Gastropub

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

  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the terminal handler license of Jeffrey Costantino for allegedly associating with persons of unsavory reputation.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment licenses of JB III LLC d/b/a Sherpardo's Italian Villa and Thomas Transport Inc. d/b/a Kountry Korners for allegedly having active tax liabilities and the business are allegedly closed.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Gilman Red Door Inc. d/b/a Gilman Red Door due to the owner's alleged criminal arrest.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment license of Ronald and Patricia Ponton d/b/a The Loft and C.G.S., LLC d/b/a C.G.S., LLC for allegedly having an active tax liability and failing to cooperate with board agents.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the location license of Nami99 Inc. d/b/a Sway Bar for allegedly operating VGTs without a valid liquor license.
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the establishment license of the following three locations for allegedly failing to disclose an individual as required under IGB Rules:

    • Whits End 51, Inc.
    • Whit's End 48, Inc.
    • CAC Restaurants, Inc. d/b/a Coz's
  • The IGB is seeking to revoke the location license of the following two locations for alleged association with persons with an unsavory reputation and obstructing and attempting to deceive board agents:

    • WT Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Halfway Inn
    • WT Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Pow Wow
  • The following five locations were fined $5,000 each for allegedly allowing unlawful gambling on premises:

    • Action Billiards, Inc. d/b/a Q Bar
    • Deep Pockets Billiards, LLC d/b/a Deep Pockets Billiards
    • B.T. Miller, Inc. d/b/a Racks on the Racks
    • Michelle's S I Inc. d/b/a Michelle's Stumble Inn
    • TJ's Bar & Grill, Inc. d/b/a TJ Snickers Sports Bar & Grill
  • The following five locations were fined $1,000 each for allegedly failing to disclosure changes in ownership:

    • Chickasaw, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro
    • Dakota One, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro
    • Menominee, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro
    • Mokena One, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro
    • Sauk, LLC d/b/a Bonny's Bistro

Happy New Year! We will be back in touch in 2017.

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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