IGB issues Terminal Operator License to Illinois Gaming Systems, LLC.

IGB issues Terminal Operator License to Illinois Gaming Systems, LLC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Illinois Gaming Systems is the only Licensed Terminal Operator with retail gaming experience for the exciting new Illinois market.

Des Plaines, IL, January 17, 2012:   After nearly a year and a half from when applications for Terminal Operators were first accepted by the IGB, Illinois Gaming Systems, LLC has been awarded the first of only sixteen issued Terminal Operator licenses.  The highly anticipated announcement was made at the IGB’s board meeting held at the Rivers Casino early today.  IGS founder, Bill Service brings a nearly 20 year record of operating locations with gaming machines in bars and restaurants in multiple gaming jurisdictions.  “IGS is thrilled to be given the great privilege to be awarded a Terminal Operator license by the Illinois Gaming Board.  The IGB’s reputation for integrity and high operating standards are well known throughout the gaming industry.  Illinois Gaming Systems specializes in precisely the form of retail gaming now being introduced to Illinois.  We look forward to working with location owners hoping to partner with an Operator that can add significant value and profitability to their business.”

IGS runs many of the most profitable locations in Oregon and West Virginia.

Interested location owners should contact IGS soon to reserve their place.  IGS will be limiting the number of locations that they will work with in order to maintain the high standards and reputation for  being the best in the industry.  “We will not be the biggest Terminal Operator in Illinois, but we will be the best.  We want to continue to offer value-added services based on our decades of practical experience and knowledge of both the restaurant and bar owner as well as the particular and unique characteristics of the gaming guest.”

Video Gaming Coming to Illinois

Video Gaming Coming to Illinois

Reported:  www.mycitycrawler.com
by: Moj Zvezda, June 8, 2010

As Illinois gears up for the licensing and install of the much anticipated Video Poker Machines (VGT), bar and restaurant owners have also begun the necessary steps preparing their businesses.  Bar owners are faced with a choice, do you utilize your current Coin-op service  “Coin-op Guy” or do you choose a full service sophisticated gaming company to handle your casino based gaming machines.

Doing some major research on this subject, I have compiled a list of items that every bar and club owner needs to review.  There are some major items on this list and it will give you an idea of the size of the responsibility for an operator of the video poker machines here in Illinois.

So let’s dive right in and really look at each area of services and operation of this Illinois gaming system.  There is heavy responsibility for Operators of a video poker machine in regards to servicing, protection, reporting and distribution of funds.  So here is what needs to be discussed:

Note: Obvious generalizations about the coin-operator industry apply, suffice to say, be sure to ask the tough questions that will protect your business.”

Operator Must Have a Gaming License

Every operator knows they need an operators gaming license, and they are not yet available.  They are projecting sometime late summer or early fall.  [The latest update is now for the summer of 2011.]  This license will allow the operator to not only purchase the machine for your establishment, but to also install, service, collect and distribute payments.

Since there is a separate license and not all coin-ops or applications will receive a license to operate video poker machines, current contracts do not apply.  If a coin-op service company tries to sling you a story that its already covered in your contract, he is lying and misrepresenting his services.  No one may sign an Illinois Video Poker operations agreement until they are licensed.

The Operator must not have a criminal background

Anyone applying for a license must not have any type of criminal background.  If you know that your current coin-op guy has a criminal background, start searching for another potential operator as they may not be licensed.  This rule goes the same for the establishments owner.

Repairing & Servicing the Video Poker Terminals

Each Operator must have a qualified Video Poker Terminal technician on staff at all times. That individual must also have a non-criminal background and must be trained to service and repair the approved video gaming machines in Illinois.  The technician must also be license by the State to service the machines in Illinois.  All VGTs will be connected directly to a central network and monitored in real-time by the Illinois Gaming Board.  As such the State will effectively have an ongoing audit of how much money is going into and out of each machine.  VGTs are not juke boxes.  They are not pool tables.  And the VGT operator is not simply collecting quarters.  Highly played VGTs will hold thousands of dollars at a time and every penny most be collected, accounted for, audited, divided and distributed with percise regularity to the state and the bar owner accordingly.  If your Coin Op is not thoroughly organized, and efficient, he will put your games and your income at risk.

Routing, Transportation and Collection of Video Poker Machine Money

The machines themselves are highly sophisticated, they are not lock, key and cash disbursement.  Each machine has a time stamped cash box, which slides out upon collection and a new box is then placed into the poker machine.  That cash box is then escorted by security guards and the trained operators technician to the armored truck, supplied by the operator.

The routing of the trucks and the security of the personnel is a large concern and must be handled in a very professional, systematic process.   Can the operator handle the staffing, the routing and security?  Again, this is another reason that an experienced gaming company might be the right choice for your location.

The Counting of Funds Collected

How will the funds be counted?  Once the armored trucks leave the hosts establishment they will then arrive at the operators facility and counting rooms.  These counting rooms check and count each box collected.  The operator then matches the collection to the State of Illinois reports and disburses all payments.  These payments include reporting and paying all State of Illinois Gaming taxes and disbursement of the hosts share into their designated account.

Here is the most serious part to the whole operation; if the operator misses one payment on the taxes to the State, they will only receive one warning.  Upon the second missed payment, the Operators gaming license is pulled and all installed machines are shut down.

The real problem begins when your current profiting video poker machines are now shut down until you can find another operator, remove the current machines and install new terminals.  The new terminals must be re-approved by the State of Illinois to open up gaming to the public.  This issue, cause by your operator not following the States guidelines, will place your establishment at a one or two month minimum loss.  Again, ask yourself this question, do I use the small coin-op servicing company that handles pool tables and dart boards, or do you call a professional casino gaming company?

Security of the Host Establishment and Employees

Another large concern for the bar or restaurant owner is security.   Will the operator supply both a technician and security guard during any collection or repair of your machines.  For the safety of both the employees and establishment, make sure these precautions are being handled by your supplier.  Another great reason to use a large casino based company, as they have these services already in place and they will know the routine.

In Review:

Looking at the following list of responsibilities for an operator, there is more to the operations in the kitchen than the dining room.  Meaning, don’t have the guy that installs your ovens cook your food!   Make sure to choose an operator that has the experience needed to make this a very profitable business for your establishment.

This new business is an institutionalized business with the state of Illinois, using a casino based company that is sophisticated in the casino gaming industry is a smarter route to take.  This is not a let down on the coin-op industry, nor do you have to stop doing business with a coin-op service company.   I recommend the use of an operator that has experience in the casino gaming field, has overseen or managed a casino property and has the security to protect your business and its employees (underlines added).

Performance Reporting

Illinois Gaming Systems believes that accurate and timely reporting offers significant benefits to establishment owners and its managers.  The IGS team are experts in system design including developing remote tools to monitor and report real time information that assists in analyzing sales, operating costs, and security.  The Illinois Gaming Board will soon finalize certain rule decisions and vendor contract requirements that will guide cash control and monitoring requirements.  The IGS team has the experience to develop custom tools needed for the Illinois market as its team has done many times before in other markets.

Just some of the many exciting new tools under development for Illinois include:

  • Mobile Reporting
  • Wireless data collection
  • Analytical sales tools to optimize labor and operating hours
  • Cash reconciliation and shift accountability
  • Employee training tools
  • Sales graphs and charts
  • Localized market share reports

Illinois Gaming System is Experience you can bank on.

VLT Contract Open For Bids, Again

VLT Contract Open For Bids, Again

Marcus Webb, www.vendingtimes.com, posted Nov. 7, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, IL –The Illinois Gaming Board is once again accepting bids for contractors to provide the central computer system that will manage the state’s operator-run video lottery market. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 1; the evaluation and award process could take a month or longer.

This is the second round of bidding for the lucrative contract. Last August, IGB originally announced that Scientific Games Corp. had won the initial bid, reportedly with an offer of $89 million

A month later, IGB reversed itself and withdrew the award, saying mistakes and misunderstandings had flawed the original process.

Crain’s Chicago Business said the rebidding process has imposed a “considerable delay” on the launch of the Illinois VLT market. Experts estimate Illinois will not be able to begin operating VLTs until the third quarter of 2011.

The central VLT computer is expected to control a $300 million annual market that could comprise 60,000 VLTs in some 10,000 taverns, truckstops and fraternal organizations, among other locations that are licensed to serve alcohol for on-premise consumption.

Scientific Games said it would rebid for the contract, as will a Greek company called Intralot S.A., among other possible contenders. Intralot lost the first round last August; its protest over mistakes by IGB led to the cancellation of the first contract.

The Illinois Gaming Board

 

The Illinois Gaming Board has the difficult task and responsibility to implement the largest distributive retail gaming network in the United States.  The IGB is guided by principles of integrity, safety, transparency and enforcement.  They are largely independent of state budgetary pressures and accountability to the Illinois Treasury Department.  The IGB’s success in regulating video gaming is imperative to the long-term health and sustainability of the industry.  IGS believes strongly that those privileged to be licensed must do all it can to support the work of the IGB, respecting their role as protector, not as adversary.

State-sponsored gaming is controversial.  Without effective regulatory oversight, the industry will most certainly fail.  Strong regulatory oversight effectively eliminates the existence of (and the market for) illegal “grey machine” activities.  Strong regulatory oversight and rule making opens up gaming as entertainment to a large and entirely new population of players and guests to our small businesses.  Strong regulatory oversight will add significant and desperately needed revenue to help fund state budgetary needs.  The result is thousands of new Illinois jobs in the hospitality and service industries, and significant support of local businesses and communities.

We can debate the public policy surrounding state-sponsored gaming — But there is no debate that a healthy, sustainable state-sponsored gaming industry requires effective regulatory oversight.  As participants we must all do our part, particularly those licensed as Terminal Operators, to support the important work of the Illinois Gaming Board.

Click  Here to see the Illinois Gaming Board Organizational Chart

Click  Here to see the Illinois Gaming Board’s listing of Senior Staff

Bill Service on the Illinois Gaming Board:

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