An Overview Of Illinois Gaming Regulatory Agency

Illinois is another gambling state with a diversity of laws and legal structure. Due to the riverboat gaming that occurs on the Mississippi River, they enforce regulations that are similar to those found in Louisiana. Many of these gaming laws were passed as little as twenty years ago.

The Riverboat Gaming Rivalry

States bordering the Mississippi River have the luxury of offering riverboat gaming as a primary tourist attraction. Due to the success of riverboat gaming in Iowa, Illinois decided to jump on board. As a result, the Illinois Riverboat Gambling Act was passed in January 1990 for authorized gaming in April 1991. The passing of this law was assisted by the fact that droves of Illinois residents were traveling to Iowa to gamble.

With residents now remaining in Illinois, a direct competition between the two states developed. This rivalry actually helped further develop the Illinois law. The original proposal stated that Illinois planned to adopt the same gambling limitations like those found in Iowa. Once the bill was finally made into a law, it was changed to state that no wagering or loss limits were to be imposed in Illinois casinos.

The Regulatory Board

The Illinois Gaming Board is the regulatory body of all riverboat gaming entities in the state. There are five Governor-appointed and Senate-confirmed board members. The Governor chooses one member to lead as the chairman. To be on the board, you must have a decent amount of knowledge pertaining to the procedure, practice, and principles of gaming entities.

The Gaming Board always consists of an attorney, a law enforcement professional, and a certified public accountant. Also, each board member is required to post a $25,000 bond but earns $300 per day of hearings. Like most other gaming boards, the members serve three-year, staggered terms.

The board members hire their own staff to fill various positions. When a riverboat goes on a voyage, agents of the board must be present to certify revenue, deal with complaints and conduct investigations. These agents are supplied by the Department of Revenue and Department of State Police.

The Gaming Board grants licenses, collects fees and taxes, sets regulations, assesses fines, and conducts hearings. The board can also suspend, restrict and revoke licenses and fine those in violation of state regulations. 35 percent of the funding for the board stems from the state general fund (due to the significant start-up costs). Soon, the Gaming Board will be completely funded by the State Gaming Fund.