A local business having issues with switching providers for its video gaming machines talked about that difficulty and asked for help at Tuesday’s Illinois Gaming Board meeting.
Turtle Run’s Doug Dawson pleaded with the board to allow them to switch operators as soon as possible through a petition filed by Accel Entertainment on their behalf with the board.
Dawson told the board he and his wife purchased the golf course, restaurant, bar and banquet center in 2017. The prior owners started moving away from video gaming provider ME (Midwest Electronics Gaming) and they supported that decision.
Dawson said ME has failed to honor their change request to move to Accel. He said they’ve had more than 185 service issues with ME; which is in response slow, if at all, to resolve problems with machines.
“Customers no longer play our machines at Turtle Run because they are down consistently,” Dawson said. “We’ve lost some really solid customers and gamers.”
He also said their revenue growth is significantly lower that other bars and restaurants in Danville.
Dawson said ME has been “abusive” and “bullying.”
“We just don’t have any place to go,” he told the board.
He also said they are a business trying to survive during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a revenue generator we desperately need to survive,” Dawson said. “We’re doing everything we can to stay in business.”
According to the Oct. 2020 video gaming report by the IGB, Danville saw $35,006 in revenue from 128 video gaming machines at 25 establishments in the city. With six machines allowed at sites, which several Danville establishments have and Turtle Run having five, there are four other establishments with higher amounts played than Turtle Run. Turtle Run saw $478,298 played in October, $430,003 won and with a net wagering activity of $48,295. Turtle Run’s video gaming terminal income: $156,774 funds in, $108,478 funds out and $48,295 net terminal income. Video Gaming Terminal tax distribution for Turtle Run: Net Terminal Income Tax $16,420, state share $14,005 and Danville share $2,414.
Beginning Nov. 2, mitigation protocols applying to all video gaming locations in Region 6, including Vermilion County, went into effect.
This means food and beverage service in video gaming locations is suspended. Outdoor service, curbside and carryout is permitted. Current mitigation measures will remain in effect, so that all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations will be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with no exceptions. Masks must be worn at all times inside the video gaming area. Congregating around video gaming terminals is prohibited and there is a one person per video gaming terminal limitation. Existing social distancing, sanitizing and other mitigation protocols and measures in approved Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans remain in effect, according to the IGB.
Pursuant to the Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation Plan announced by Gov. JB Pritzker on Nov. 17, all licensed Illinois casino gambling and video gaming operations of all kind are suspended until further notice effective at the conclusion of the gaming day at 11:01 p.m. on Nov. 19.
Failure to comply with these mitigation efforts could subject licensees to discipline, up to and including license revocation.