Illinois Committee May Appeal To Legislature

Now that the Illinois Joint Committee of Administrative Rules unanimously rejected the Gaming Board's proposed video gambling reforms, board chairman Aaron Jaffe said he will appeal to the full legislature or prepare new rules. State Rep. David Leitch called Jaffe's proposed blacklist "severely flawed."

Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe said the board will present its proposed guidelines to the full legislature or draft a new set of rules for the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules, a panel of 12 senators and representatives that recently unanimously rejected the board’s electronic video gambling reform package. The proposals would have set restrictions on selling contracts for video gambling terminals and established a “blacklist” of companies barred from doing business with the state.

Jaffe said he was “was absolutely astounded” that the reforms were rejected. Committee members did not offer a reason for their actions, although state Rep. David Leitch called the proposed exclusion list “severely flawed,” adding that the gaming board does not have the authority to create “blacklist.” State Rep. Lou Lang added, “If they had not been so overzealous and just gave us a rule that said if you have been rejected for a license, you can’t do any contracting, I would have voted for them.”

Lang also noted the measure failed because it was filed as a fast-tracked emergency measure. “We don’t like emergency rules in the first place. We aren’t about to approve emergency rules that are not emergencies,” he stated.

Gaming Board spokesperson Gene O’Shea said that the board chose emergency rule because regular rules can take several months and they thought their reform should be enacted quickly.

The proposed rules were the result of a Chicago Tribune investigation that indicated unlicensed solicitors were profiting from selling contracts for video gambling machines at up to $20,000 per bar.