LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney James Richard Rowe II | Jan 16, 2011

Applying for a Video Gaming License Under Illinois' New Video Gaming Law

VIDEO POKER ANYONE?

Applying for A Video Gaming License Under Illinois’ New Video Gaming Act

Author: James Rowe, Partner

The Law Firm of Rowe & Associates

If you are interested in applying for permission to operate a video gaming terminal (“VGT"), such as video poker machines, at your establishment or place of business in Illinois, this guide will prove helpful to answering some of your likely questions. However, each person’s situation is different, and the law complicated. Therefore, I encourage you to call The Law Firm of Rowe & Associates to further discuss the licensing requirements and application process with us.

Here are some sample Qs&As relating to the Gaming Act:

Q: Where will video gaming be allowed?

A: In licensed retail establishments where alcoholic liquor is drawn, poured, mixed, or otherwise served for consumption on the premises, licensed truck stops, and licensed fraternal and veterans establishments.

Video gaming is restricted from the following locations:

§ 1,000 feet of a facility operated by an organization licensee, inter-track wagering licensee, or inter-track wagering location licensee licensed under the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975 (230 ILCS 5/1 et seq. (West 2008)) (the Board may waive this restriction in certain circumstances);

§ 1,000 feet of the home dock of a riverboat licensed under the Riverboat Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10/1 et seq. (West 2008)) (the Board may waive this restriction in certain circumstances); or

§ 100 feet of either a school or a place of worship under the Religious Corporation Act (805 ILCS 110/0.01 et seq. (West 2008)).

Additionally, the Board must consider whether a video gaming terminal ownership would result in “undue economic concentration".

Q: Is a license required to place a video gaming terminal in your establishment?

A: Yes. Those found without a proper license are subject to penalties.

Among the requirements for licensure:

(a) Burden is upon applicant. The burden is upon each applicant to demonstrate suitability for licensure. Each VGT manufacturer, distributor, supplier, operator, handler, and licensed establishment shall be licensed by the Board. The Board may issue or deny a license under this Act to any person under the same criteria set forth in Section 9 of the Riverboat Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10/9 (West 2008)).

(b) Background investigations. Each person seeking and possessing a license as VGT manufacturer, distributor, supplier, operator, handler, and licensed establishment shall submit to a background investigation conducted by the Board with the assistance of the State Police or other law enforcement. This investigation shall include each trust beneficiary, partnership partner, director, officer and member of the entity being investigated, as well as all stockholders of 5% or more in a parent or subsidiary corporation.

(c) Disclosure of financial interests. Each person seeking and possessing a license as a VGT manufacturer, distributor, supplier, operator, handler, and licensed establishment shall disclose the identity of every person, association, trust, corporation or limited liability company having a direct or indirect interest of more than 1% in the VGT operation for which the license is sought. If the disclosed entity is a trust, the application shall disclose the names and addresses of the beneficiaries; if a corporation, the names and addresses of all stockholders and directors; if a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners, both general and limited; if a limited liability company, the names and addresses of all members.

(d) License disqualifications. No person may receive a license under the Act if found by the Board to:

(1) Have been convicted of any violation of Article 28 of the Criminal Code of 1961; and/or

(2) Have a background (including a criminal record, reputation, habits, social or business associations, or prior activities) that poses a threat to the public interests of the State or to the security and integrity of video gaming; and/or

(3) Create or enhance the dangers of unsuitable, unfair, or illegal practices, methods, and activities in the conduct of video gaming; and/or

(4) Present questionable business practices and financial arrangements incidental to the conduct of video gaming activities.

(e) License application fees (fees charged by the State for applying):

Manufacturer

$5,000

Distributor

$5,000

Terminal operator

$5,000

Supplier

$2,500

Technician

$100

Terminal handler

$50

If you need assistance in navigating the waters of the application process for an Illinois gaming license, contact my Firm.

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