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Illinois Gaming Board Caps Historic Summer at September Meeting

Press Release - Thursday, September 14, 2023

Meeting follows opening of three new casinos and a sportsbook since May

The Illinois Gaming Board (the "IGB" or "Board") marked an historic summer overseeing the opening of three newly authorized casinos and a new sportsbook, among other significant actions as reported during today's September meeting.

The summer began with the IGB conducting pre-opening operations assessment/audit and practice gaming sessions under IGB Rules 3000.230(e) and (f) at the new Golden Nugget Casino in Danville from May 22 through May 25. Based on the results, IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter issued a temporary operating permit ("TOP") and on May 27, Golden Nugget Danville opened to the public as Illinois' 13th casino. Golden Nugget Danville paid $25.3 million in upfront fees that were deposited into the Rebuild Illinois Projects Fund for use on capital and infrastructure projects throughout the state.

Following the June and July public Board meetings, the IGB conducted the pre-opening operations assessment/audit and practice gaming sessions at Walker's Bluff Casino Resort in Carterville from August 21 through August 24. After the successful testing at Walker's Bluff, Administrator Fruchter issued a TOP and on August 25, the casino commenced operations as Illinois' 14th casino. Walker's Bluff Casino Resort will pay approximately $28.3 million in upfront fees into the Rebuild Illinois Fund.

After the Labor Day holiday, the IGB conducted the pre-opening operations assessment/audit and practice gaming sessions at Bally's Chicago temporary casino at Medinah Temple from September 5 through September 8. Administrator Fruchter issued Bally's Chicago a TOP and on September 9, Bally's Chicago opened as Illinois' 15th casino. Bally's Chicago will pay $135.5 million in upfront fees into the Rebuild Illinois Fund.

Following enactment of the 2019 gaming expansion law, five newly authorized casinos have opened in Rockford, Waukegan, Danville, Carterville, and Chicago since November 2021.

On September 6, 2023, Administrator Fruchter approved Southern Illinois Riverboat/Casino Cruises LLC d/b/a Harrah's Metropolis Casino's Rule 1100(b) request to open its retail sportsbook inside the casino, becoming the 10th sportsbook to open following the 2019 gaming expansion law.

During today's meeting, the Board renewed the casino license of Des Plaines Development Limited Partnership d/b/a Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel for an additional four years. The Board also granted more than 487 new gaming licenses and related approvals for casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering along with renewal of existing licenses, and:

For video gaming, the IGB approved licenses for:
o 99 video gaming locations
o 40 terminal handlers
o Four new terminal operators
The IGB denied licenses for:
o Four video gaming locations
o Four terminal operators
For casinos, the IGB approved:
o One Owner's licensee
o Three key persons
o Eight level 1 casino occupational license
o 80 level 2 casino occupational licenses
o 90 level 3 casino occupational licenses
o Two casino suppliers including 10 key persons
The IGB denied licenses for:
o Nine level 2 and 3 casino occupational licenses
For sports wagering, the IGB approved licenses for:
o Two key persons
o One level 1 sports wagering occupational license
o 163 level 2 sports wagering occupational licenses

At the meeting, the Board also adopted a resolution to implement the intent of recently enacted Senate Bill 1462 (Public Act 103-550), allowing the IGB Administrator to issue temporary occupational badges to applicants eligible for licensure under the new law.

"I thank all IGB staff for their tireless work to ensure diligent, efficient and ethical implementation of the landmark gaming expansion law and for their steadfast commitment to safeguarding the integrity of Illinois gaming," said Administrator Fruchter.

In addition, Administrator Fruchter recognized that September is National Responsible Gambling Education Month.

"The IGB is committed to maintaining the safety, integrity and sustainability of Illinois gaming, and that includes responsible gambling education and problem gambling awareness and assistance," Administrator Fruchter said.

Illinois is home to 15 casinos, 10 licensed sportsbooks, and a network of more than 8,400 licensed video gaming establishments. Casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering generated more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue to the state and local communities in calendar year 2022.

The IGB serves as the state regulatory and law enforcement agency, overseeing all licensed casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering to ensure the integrity and safety of gambling while generating revenue for the state and gaming host communities.

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