CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Gaming Board has moved to revoke the license of a video gambling operator for allegedly offering a $5 million “illegal inducement” to a gambling parlor chain owner.
Rick Heidner, the third-largest video gambling operator in Illinois, was allegedly told his Gold Rush Gaming would have its machines removed from 44 establishments owned by Laredo Hospitality Ventures because of the company’s new owner, according to a December Gaming Board complaint.
Ending the use agreements would “result in a significant loss of revenue,” for Gold Rush, the complaint stated. Days later, Heidner allegedly offered to purchase Laredo for $5 million more than the new owner.
State gambling law says it’s a felony to give “anything of value to an establishment as an incentive or inducement to locate (video gambling terminals) in that establishment.”
Heidner hasn’t been charged. A spokesman called the allegations “absolutely false.”
“Gold Rush and Rick Heidner will vigorously oppose the orchestrated smear campaign against them before the Gaming Board and in court,” said spokesman Randall Samborn.
The board’s complaint comes after Heidner’s name surfaced in an FBI search warrant of then-state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s offices. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration subsequently decided against selling state-owned land to Heidner for a race track and casino project.
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