We greatly appreciate our great business relationship with your Establishment. Now that video gaming is up and running, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of a few very important items which we should all focus upon. These items include the following:
1. Zero Tolerance for Illegal Gambling.
Your license, and ours, are both privileged licenses, which can be revoked if we do not carefully follow the Illinois gambling laws. There can be no illegal gambling allowed in your facility. This means no Super Bowl Pools, no March Madness, NCAA Tournament Brackets, no dice, no cards, no betting of any kind. Also, you need to be very careful in following the rules regarding giveaways and sweepstakes. Generally speaking, participants in a sweepstakes must be allowed to enter the promotion free of charge, and the winner must be chosen at random from a pool of qualified entries. Because a sweepstakes promotion includes the element of chance, the sponsor may not require consideration (payment) of any kind for an opportunity to win the prize. Any promotion that requires payment in order to be entered into a random drawing is considered an illegal lottery. The Illinois Gaming Board is in the process of disciplining several Establishments where illegal Super Bowl Pools were conducted. With March Madness right around the corner, we write to you once again to remind you of the Illinois Gaming Board’s Zero Tolerance Policy towards gambling of any type.
2. Protection of Gaming Equipment.
You have a duty to carefully protect the gaming equipment which is installed in your Establishment (including VGTs, Redemption Devices, chairs, and other equipment). As you know, that equipment is very expensive. If you become aware of any intentional damage to the equipment, please take immediate steps to prevent that damage. We had a recent incident at one of our locations where a patron intentionally broke a video screen. The state’s attorney is in the process of pressing felony charges. The equipment involved in video gaming is highly regulated, and intentional damage to that equipment will not be tolerated by the Illinois Gaming Board, by the local authorities, or by PSG. It should not be tolerated by your Establishment.
The Illinois Gaming Board has issued new guidance regarding marketing of video gaming. A copy of that new guidance is attached for your review. We are expecting further guidance, and we are actively providing suggestions to the IGB for their consideration. PSG intends to be in the lead regarding marketing opportunities. We will update you as soon as new information is available. We want you to be able to take advantage of any legal marketing opportunities, and we will assist you, within the allowed guidelines, to increase your video gaming business.
4. Redemption Procedures.
Please be very careful in following proper Redemption procedures. For facilities with “Behind the Bar” Redemption devices, never pay a ticket without scanning it first. For all Establishments, meticulously follow hand pay policies. It is crucial that proper redemption procedures are followed at all times.
5. Careful Observation of Gaming Activities.
Line of Sight/Supervision of Gaming Area. The IGB is aware that some locations were approved which had issues regarding “line of site” from the Video Gaming Manager/Supervisor to the Gaming Area. They are revisiting this issue. Please be careful to assure that someone in control of gaming operations for your Establishment is carefully watching the entrance to your gaming area at all times. This is a statutory requirement, regardless of how your facility is configured. Video cameras alone will not suffice to satisfy the “observation” requirement
6. Underage Individuals in Gaming Area/Marking of Gaming Area.
Presence of underage individuals in gaming areas (and play of VGTs by underage individuals) in gaming areas is a huge issue with the IGB. They will pull licensees over this issue. This is at least as serious a matter as service of alcohol to minors. There is zero tolerance on this issue as well. Proper signage, separation stantions, and other controls are essential. The IGB has promised that there will be increased enforcement activities regarding underage individuals in gaming areas and “fair warning” has been provided.
7. Smoking in Bars.
Careful adherence to smoking regulations is mandatory. The IGB believes that establishments that can’t follow “simple” rules such as the smoking ban will have difficulty following the more complex gaming rules. Fines and revocation of gaming licenses are a possible consequence.
8. Sale or Transfer of Assets/Locations.
If you are contemplating the sale of your location, we would be delighted to assist you (and the proposed purchaser) with the regulatory process.. If you wait until the last minute, problems can arise.. It is imperative that any new owner go through the formal application process before sharing in any gaming proceeds.
Once again, PSG greatly appreciates your business, and also appreciates your anticipated cooperation in following the guidelines addressed in this letter.
Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact your route manager or me at the number listed above.
Rob Miller, President
Prairie State Gaming