Gaming board adopts new ethics rules for casino licenses

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Gaming Board announced Friday that it had adopted new rules it said will strengthen existing ethical safeguards and require more people to file ethical disclosure reports as part of the casino license selection process.

The new rules are the result of legislation enacted this year that allows for the development of six new land-based casinos, including one in Chicago, along with legalized sports wagering.

The new rules were enacted under the board's emergency rulemaking authority, which allows the board to adopt temporary rules, under certain circumstances, without going through the normal process of public notice and hearings. Such rules are effective for only a maximum of 150 days, and the agency would have to go through the regular rulemaking process to make them permanent.

"The purpose of the emergency rule is to further strengthen the IGB's existing ethics requirements and enhance the transparency of the casino license selection process authorized under the Illinois Gambling Act," Administrator Marcus Fruchter said in a statement.

The new rules expand the definition of an "applicant" to include, "any person or entity which has directly or indirectly expressed interest to an official or employee of a host community in obtaining an owners license … regardless of whether that person or entity has submitted an application to the board."

In addition, all applicants and licensees will be required to disclose any potential or actual violations of ethics laws spelled out in state law that are committed, by the applicant, licensee or any of their agents or employees; violations by any other applicant, licensee or their agents or employees; or violations by any current or former official or employee of a host community, or their spouse, child, or parent.

"This is another step in our process to ethically and expeditiously implement gaming expansion in Illinois," Fruchter said.

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