HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 35"Casino Mall" Applicants File Suit Against Illinois Gaming Board

On October 20, 2015, applicants seeking to establish a “casino mall” concept in Illinois filed suit against the Illinois Gaming Board (“Board”) challenging the denial of their video gaming terminal license applications.

The plaintiffs, Hometown Plaza, LLC, Bellas Hometown, LLC, and Gigis Hometown, LLC, all sought video gaming terminal licenses for adjacent properties in a strip mall, characterized as “video gaming malls.” Although the properties would remain separately operated and have separate entrances, the Board denied the licenses and indicated that the concept would violate the spirit of the state’s gaming laws by creating a de facto casino in the strip mall. The plaintiffs have argued that the decision was not based on the merits of their applications.

During its September 22, 2015 public meeting, the Chairman of the Board, Donald R. Tracy noted that the concept created “backdoor casinos…without the traditional safeguards of licensed casinos, such as regulated security, on-site Board oversight, position limits, self-exclusion rules, and internal controls.” Further, the Board stated that the Illinois legislature did not intend to authorize video gaming malls through the Video Gaming Act, citing letters received by the Board from state legislators on the issue. The Board unanimously denied the three licenses after a brief discussion at its September 22 hearing.

The Board has not filed an answer in the litigation at this time. The case is Hometown Plaza, LLC, et al. v. Illinois Gaming Board, et. al., Cook County Circuit Court, Chancery Division, Case No. 2015-CH-15439.

 

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