IRGC Meeting - Riverside

Meeting Time: Thursday, August 26, 2021
Meeting Location

Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
3184 IA-22
Riverside , IA 52327

Meeting Agenda Document:
Meeting Agenda

1.APPROVE AGENDA
2.WELCOME – Dan Kehl, CEO, Elite Casino Resorts, LLC; Tom Basten, President, Washington County Riverboat Foundation
3.APPROVE MINUTES – From July 15, 2021 Commission Meeting
4.ANNOUNCEMENTS
A. September – No Meeting
B. October 21, 2021 – Casino Queen Marquette, Marquette (Submissions due by October 7, 2020)
C. November 18, 2021 – Diamond Jo, Dubuque
5.ADVANCE DEPOSIT SPORTS WAGERING OPERATOR AGREEMENT
A. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Inc. -Amendment to Agreement with American Wagering d/b/a William Hill Sportsbook
B. Catfish Bend Casino II, LLC – Amended and Restated Sports Book and Online Casino/Gaming Agreement with PointsBet USA Inc.
C. Dubuque Racing Association, Ltd. – BlueBet Iowa LLC
D. Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs, LLC – Penn Sports Interactive, LLC
E. Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C.; Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C. and Wild Rose Jefferson,
L.L.C. – Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 to the Strategic Gaming Agreement with Crown IA Gaming LLC
6.AMERISTAR CASINO COUNCIL BLUFFS, LLC – Request for Approval of Third Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Excursion Boat Sponsorship and Operations Agreement with Iowa West Racing Association
7.CONTRACT APPROVALS (OSV – OUT OF STATE VENDOR; RP – RELATED PARTY)
A. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, LLC – Event Center Remodel -Embark IT, Inc. – Video and Audio System
B. Rhythm City Casino, LLC
1.Carrier Access IT, LLC – Technology Solutions: Hardware, Software and Support Services
2.Edward Don – Disposables and Smallwares Purchases
3.Fortune Wisconsin – Specialty Food Purchases (OSV)
4.Loffredo Fresh Produce – Food and Produce Purchases
5.Myers-Cox – Cigarettes, Sundries and Candies
6.Performance Food Service – Food Purchases
7.The Home Depot – Environmental Services Supplies
8.US Foods – Food Purchases
C. Grand Falls Casino Resort, LLC
1.Bluworld of Water, LLC – Remodel Project: Waterfall Feature (OSV)
2.Sonifi Solutions – Public Viewing and NFL Sunday Ticket (OSV)
D. Dubuque Racing Association
1.Dubuque Networking Services – Service and Office 365
2.Gronen Restoration, Inc. – Refurbish and Addition of Outdoor Seating Area for Houlihan’s Restaurant
3.O’Connor & Thomas, P.C. – Legal Fees
4.Reliable Technology Inc. – Services and Microsoft Contracts
E. Diamond Jo, LLC – Mastercraft Floor Covering, LLC – Casino Carpet Installation (Carpet Replacement) (OSV)
F. Catfish Bend Casinos II, LLC – Mohrfeld Electric – Installation of Surveillance Camera Wiring
G. HGI-Lakeside, LLC
1.American State Bank – ATM Services/Electronic Services to Patron’s Bank Accounts
2.Everi Payments Inc. – Third Party Access to Cash and/or Credit for Patrons (OSV)
H. Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C. – Reynolds & Reynolds – Insurance Broker and Provider
I. Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C.
1.Reynolds & Reynolds – Insurance Broker and Provider
2.Premier Mechanical – Repairs and Maintenance for HVAC
3.Blacktop Service Company – Asphalt Overlay and Patchwork for Parking Lot Project
4.DeLoss Construction – Concrete and Paving for Parking Lot Project
J. Wild Rose Jefferson, L.L.C. – Reynolds & Reynolds – Insurance Broker and Provider
K. SCE Partners, LLC
1.Siouxland Expo Center – Sponsorship Agreement
2.The Fish Guys – Food Supplier (OSV)
L. Iowa West Racing Association d/b/a Horseshoe Casino – C3 (CAP) d/b/a Charles Attal Presents – Entertainment Programming Services (OSV)
M. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Inc. – Sys-Kool LLC – Water Cooling Tower Service (OSV)
8.PUBLIC COMMENT
9.ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS – Request to Waive Licensing Requirements for Non-Gaming Positions
10.ADJOURN

Meeting Minutes Document:
Meeting Minutes

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) met on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa.  Commission members present were Julie Andres, Chair; Daryl Olsen, Vice Chair; and members Mark Campbell and Lance Horbach.

APPROVE AGENDA:  Chair Andres called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM and requested a motion to approve the agenda.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the agenda as submitted.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

WELCOME: Dan Kehl welcomed everyone to the property, and introduced Shawn Ellingson, President of the Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF). Mr. Ellingson welcomed everyone to Riverside.  He noted 2020 was a difficult year with the pandemic, the casino being closed for a period of time, and the derecho in Linn County.  Mr. Ellingson stated WCRF created a special Covid relief grant with a special grant cycle; funds were distributed to 17 different organizations. Additionally, WCRF partnered with Elite Casino Resorts and the Kehl family to donate $100,000 each to United Way, Salvation Army, Red Cross, and the Hawkeye Area community Action Program for distribution, and another $100,000 to be distributed by WCRF.

Mr. Ellingson stated WCRF had many multi-year grants for which funds were earmarked; however, with the events of 2020, they are rethinking those and are focusing on getting them paid off.  With those grants paid off, WCRF will have a better understanding of how much money is available in the future.  He stated Riverside is looking at a record year, and WCRF is looking forward to funding several projects during the grant cycle.

Commissioner Horbach congratulated WCRF for being able to meet some of the unfunded areas of concern in the smaller communities, who are very appreciative of the funds.

APPROVE MINUTES:  Chair Andres moved to the approval of the minutes from the July 15, 2021 meeting.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the minutes as submitted.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Brian Ohorilko, Administrator, stated there would be no meeting in September.  The next Commission meeting will be held at Casino Queen Marquette on October 21st, with submissions due in the Des Moines office by October 7th.  The last meeting for the year will be held at the Diamond Jo in Dubuque on November 18th.

Mr. Ohorilko introduced Scott Ditch and Tori Aplara, IRGC Gaming Representatives assigned to the Riverside facility.  He also introduced Larry Johnson, Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

ADVANCE DEPOSIT SPORTS WAGERING OPERATOR AGREEMENT:
Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Inc. (PMR&C): Gary Palmer, General Manager, noted American Wagering, Inc. d/b/a William Hill was purchased by Caesars Entertainment. The agreement was amended to allow changing the name of the sportsbook to Caesars instead of William Hill, Caesars will provide some new furniture for the area, removed the requirement for PMR&C to pay half of the original investment if they terminated the agreement after the initial term and the approval of additional skins.

Commissioner Horbach asked each facility presenting in this area to provide the Commission with a brief description of what they are looking for when they partner with an Advance Deposit Sports Wagering Operator.

Mr. Palmer stated they wanted someone with national recognition that would be a good partner.  As sports wagering was an unknown, PMR&C wanted someone that did a lot of advertising.  Now, they realize just about everything is done on a mobile device, and requires an app.  He stated PMR&C is probably not making as much as they would like.  They sought a partner that would do a good job and have integrity.

Hearing no further comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the amended agreement between Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Inc. and American Wagering, Inc. d/b/a William Hill Sports Book as presented.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Catfish Bend Casino II, LLC (CBC): Rob Higgins, General Manager, presented an Amended and Restated Sports Book and Online Casino Gaming Agreement with PointsBet USA Inc., which would establish PointsBet as CBC’s exclusive “second skin” operator and enabling them to offer online gaming products should online gaming become legal in Iowa. PointsBet would provide the necessary personnel; hardware, software and technology, marketing and customer service to permit the Online Casino to be available to authorized persons located within Iowa’s borders; and maintain and operate customer wager balances, payment services, verification services, and other services required to operate the Online Sportsbook in accordance with Iowa law.

Mr. Higgins noted CBC recently had an agreement with 888, now owned by Sports Illustrated, approved.  With the approval of the amended and restated sports book and online casino gaming agreement, PointsBet would be the first skin for sports betting and Sports Illustrated would be the second skin,  Should online gaming become legal, Sports Illustrated would be the first skin, and PointsBet would be the second skin.

Mr. Higgins stated PointsBet reached out to them. As a smaller facility, CBC was looking for a company that was similar and had the same thought process they did.  PointsBet’s presentation resonated with CBC management and they have been able to establish a personal relationship.  He noted PointsBet has expanded their operations and are now in eleven jurisdictions.  Mr. Higgins stated they are happy with their relationship with PointsBet.

Hearing no further comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the Amended and Restated Sports Book and Online Casino Gaming Agreement as presented by Catfish Bend Casino II, LLC.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Dubuque Racing Association, Ltd.: Brian Rakestraw, General Manager, introduced Alex Dixon, the new President and CEO for the Dubuque Racing Association.  Mr. Dixon provided the Commission with his background in the gaming industry.

Mr. Rakestraw presented a Sportsbook Services and License Agreement with BlueBet Iowa LLC.  He advised BlueBet is an Australian sports wagering operator that has been in operation since 2015.  They are looking to expand to the United States, and in addition to Iowa, BlueBet is currently looking at opportunities in Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

Mr. Rakestraw stated Dubuque Racing Association/Q Casino is one small operator in Iowa.  When they looked for partners for sports wagering, they sought out operators that were in multiple jurisdictions, not necessarily a market leader.

Hearing no further comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Campbell moved to approve the Sportsbook Services and License Agreement between the Dubuque Racing Association, Ltd. and BlueBet Iowa LLC as presented.  Commissioner Horbach seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs, LLC: Paul Czak, General Manager, presented a Branded Online Sportsbook Shared Services Agreement with Penn Sports Interactive, LLC (PSI), which currently offers retail sports betting in 17 casinos across eight states.  Mr. Czak stated Penn Gaming chose to develop their own Barstool app, and recently purchased The Score.  Penn will own all of the skins, technology, etc. 

Chair Andres asked if the sportsbook would be branded as Barstool.  Mr. Czak advised the app would be Barstool, but the sports bar name will not change until sometime in 2022.

Hearing no further comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion. Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the Branded Online Sportsbook Shared Services Agreement between Penn Sports Interactive, LLC and Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs, LLC as presented. Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C.; Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C.; Wild Rose Jefferson, L.L.C.: Rick Gilson, Internal Auditor, presented two amendments to their agreement with Crown IA Gaming LLC (DraftKings). The first amendment changes the definition of gross gaming revenue.  The second amendment defines a potential online gaming relationship should it become legal and eliminates the “opt out” clause in the agreement.

Mr. Gilson stated their strategy in selecting a partner was to identify about eight potential vendors and then through talking with them, they selected those they felt they could develop a relationship/partnership with and were comfortable working with.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the two amendments to the Crown IA Gaming LLC (DraftKings) agreement as submitted by Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C., Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C. and Wild Rose Jefferson, L.L.C.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion.

AMERISTAR CASINO COUNCIL BLUFFS, LLC: Mr. Czak introduced Brenda Mainwaring, CEO of the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA). She advised IWRA has had an Operating Agreement in place since 1994 with Ameristar which has been restated, extended and amended.  The document before the Commission today memorializes the current process between Ameristar and IWRA.  Specifically, the amendment removes language requiring a Joint Public Relations Committee; and confirms Ameristar’s existing payment rate to IWRA on sports wagering revenue. Ms. Mainwaring stated Mr. Czak has stated Ameristar’s understanding of the legislation is that the community should get 3% of adjusted gross revenue regardless of the source of that revenue.  Since the onset of sports wagering, Ameristar has paid IWRA 3% of adjusted gross revenue on any wagering under their control.  With regard to the skins, that is still a pass through, and the State mandated three-quarters of 1%.  Ameristar will continue to pay 3% on everything they own.  Ms. Mainwaring stated the parties are in the middle of the current operating agreement, which has an additional three year extension.  She stated Ameristar has set a very high standard with regard to their sports wagering in connection with the community.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Campbell moved to approve the Third Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Excursion Boar Sponsorship and Operations Agreement between Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs, LLC and IWRA as presented.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

CONTRACT APPROVALS (OSV – OUT OF STATE VENDOR; RP – RELATED PARTY):

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, LLC: Damon John, Director of Marketing, presented a contract with Embark IT, Inc. for the video and audio system related to the remodel of the event center.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contract as submitted by Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, LLC.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Rhythm City Casino, LLC: Mo Hyder, General Manager, presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

  • Carrier Access IT, LLC – Technology Solutions: Hardware, Software and Support Services
  • Edward Don – Disposables and Smallwares Purchases
  • Fortune Wisconsin – Specialty Food Purchases (OSV)
  • Loffredo Fresh Produce – Food and Produce Purchases
  • Myers-Cox – Cigarettes, Sundries and Candies
  • Performance Food Service – Food Purchases
  • The Home Depot – Environmental Services Supplies
  • US Foods – Food Purchases

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the contracts as submitted by Rhythm City Casino, LLC.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Grand Falls Casino Resort, LLC: Sharon Haselhoff, General Manager, presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

 

  • Bluworld of Water, LLC – Remodel Project: Waterfall Feature (OSV)
  • Sonifi Solutions – Public Viewing and NFL Sunday Ticket (OSV)

Commissioner Horbach inquired as to the status of the construction project underway last year.  Ms. Haselhoff indicated it was complete, and the hotel and RV Park were operational.  She indicated the hotel rooms and RV Park have been close to full throughout the summer.

Commissioner Olsen noted the waterfall at the facility was amazing, and asked what the plans were.  She advised the bubblers in the facility will be removed and replaced with the water feature from Bluworld, which will be contained and require less maintenance on the part of the facility team. 

Hearing no further comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the contracts as submitted by Grand Falls Casino Resort, LLC.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Dubuque Racing Association, Ltd.: Mr. Rakestraw presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

  • Dubuque Networking Services – Service and Office 365
  • Gronen Restoration, Inc. – Refurbish and Addition of Outdoor Seating Area for Houlihan’s Restaurant
  • O’Connor & Thomas, P.C. – Legal Fees
  • Reliable Technology Inc. – Services and Microsoft Contracts

Mr. Rakestraw advised Houlihan’s is being totally refurbished; they are adding an outdoor patio which will be accessed via folding glass doors.  The patio will be covered and have heat lamps, ceiling fans and a fire pit.  They hope to have the outdoor patio ready for use in early September.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contracts as submitted by Dubuque Racing Association, Ltd.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Diamond Jo, LLC: Wendy Runde, General Manager, presented a contract with Mastercraft Floor Covering, LLC for the installation of casino carpet.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Campbell moved to approve the contract as submitted by Diamond Jo, LLC.  Commissioner Horbach seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Catfish Bend Casinos II, LLC: Mr. Higgins presented a contract with Mohrfeld Electric for the installation of surveillance camera wiring.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contract as submitted by Catfish Bend Casinos II, LLC.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

HGI-Lakeside, LLC: David Monroe, General Manager, presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

  • American State Bank – ATM Services/Electronic Services to Patron’s Bank Accounts
  • Everi Payments Inc. – Third Party Access to Cash and/or Credit for Patrons (OSV)

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Campbell moved to approve the contracts as submitted by HGI-Lakeside, LLC.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C.: Steve Cody, General Manager at Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C., presented a contract with Reynolds & Reynolds, an insurance broker and provider.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contract as submitted by Wild Rose Clinton, L.L.C.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C.: Mr. Cody presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

  • Reynolds & Reynolds – Insurance Broker and Provider
  • Premier Mechanical – Repairs and Maintenance for HVAC
  • Blacktop Service Company – Asphalt Overlay and Patchwork for Parking Lot Project
  • DeLoss Construction – Concrete and Paving for Parking Lot Project

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Campbell moved to approve the contracts as submitted by Wild Rose Emmetsburg, L.L.C.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Wild Rose Jefferson, L.L.C.: Mr. Cody presented a contract with Reynolds & Reynolds, an insurance broker and provider.

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the contract as presented.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

SCE Partners, LLC: Doug Fisher, General Manager, presented the following contracts for Commission approval:

  • Siouxland Expo Center – Sponsorship Agreement
  • The Fish Guys – Food Supplier (OSV)

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contracts as presented.  Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Iowa West Racing Association d/b/a Horseshoe Casino:  Sally Rogers, Director of Finance for IOC Black Hawk County, Inc. d/b/a Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, presented a contract with C3 (CAP) d/b/a Charles Attal Presents for Entertainment Programming Services (OSV).

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Horbach moved to approve the contract as submitted.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Inc.:  Mr. Palmer presented a contract with Sys-Kool, LLC for water cooling tower service. 

Hearing no comments or questions, Chair Andres requested a motion.  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the contract as submitted.  Commissioner Horbach seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENT/ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS:  As there was no Public Comment, Chair Andres moved to Administrative Business.  Mr. Ohorilko asked Wes Ehrecke, President of the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA), to address the request to waive licensing requirements.  Mr. Ehrecke stated the IGA, on behalf of the licensed casinos, was requesting that the licensing requirements for all non-gaming positions be waived so the facilities could be on a more competitive hiring playing field for the same positions found at nearby restaurants, hotels, golf courses, etc.   He noted the facilities are competitive with wages and benefits.

Commissioner Olsen stated it was his understanding those individuals could be hired today and start without licensing.  Mr. Ehrecke stated he did not believe they could, but asked for clarification.  He indicated it was his understanding that once an individual is hired, they have to complete the IRGC application, which has to be approved by the IRGC Gaming Representative, which could take up to a week or two weeks.

Mr. Ohorilko advised the rules permit employees to work on an interim identification badge until the next time the IRGC licensing office is open.  If someone were to apply after licensing hours, the facility could offer that individual a job; they could start work that night with the expectation that they come in and get licensed.  Mr. Ohorilko noted this sometimes creates a hardship for those employees that have other daytime jobs or a student with classes.  He stated the interim identification badge only allows the individual to work until the next day the licensing office is open. He noted that at the smaller or more remote locations, if the licensing office is closed due to vacation or a short illness, the interim badge would be allowed until the next time the licensing office is open.

Mr. Ehrecke clarified these positions would not be working on the gaming floor or handling money.  He noted the Commission wanted the casinos to be destinations with amenities other than the gaming floor.  This request would cover those employees working in the hotel, on the golf course, in the spa and restaurants.

Chair Andres stated the impetus to bring this matter to the table was the discussions held recently with all of the operators.  She stated the Commission understands the tight labor market, and is sympathetic to the need to staff the facilities.  She advised the Commission was contacted by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), who urged caution in moving forward.  Chair Andres stated the Commission has come up with a possible solution. 

Commissioner Horbach expressed his frustration at not getting good information, and was not aware there was a provisional opportunity or that it was so short.  He stated he has asked Commission staff and the DCI to provide a detailed licensing timeline.  Commissioner Horbach stated the Commission has heard about the hardships and delays.  He voiced his support to try and come to a resolution to put the facilities on the same competitive playing field with other restaurants, golf courses, hotels, etc.

Commissioner Campbell thanked everyone for the conversations and information.  He stated the Commission learned a lot and will learn more going forward.  Commissioner Campbell moved to direct Commission staff to promptly work with the Iowa Gaming Association on a potential filing of a petition to waive sections of 491-6.2(6) in an effort to assist the industry with hiring challenges related to 491-6.2(6).  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

ADJOURN: Chair Andres requested a motion to adjourn.  Commissioner Horbach so moved.  Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.