[UPDATED THROUGH September 6, 2016]
J & J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.
Supreme Court Case Number: 119870
Appellate Court: Fifth District
Appellate Court Case Number: 5-14-0092
Issues Presented: (1) Is the dispute between the plaintiff, defendant and intervenor regarding whether or not the plaintiff has a valid “written use agreement” within the meaning of the Video Gaming Act within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gaming Board? (2) If not, does the plaintiff have a valid “written use agreement” granting the right to place video gaming terminals in the defendant’s establishment even though the agreement was created and assigned to the plaintiff by two entities which were never licensed to operate video gaming terminals under the Act?
Summary of Facts and Lower Court Holdings: Following enactment of the Video Gaming Act and before the Gaming Board established rules for implementing the Act, certain unlicensed persons and entities entered into agreements with establishments hoping to become licensed establishments under the Act. These agreements purported to grant the unlicensed entity the right to place video gaming terminals in the establishment once both sides became licensed entities under the Act. The defendant entered into such an agreement. The initial entity which signed the contract with the defendant never became a licensed entity. Instead, it assigned its rights under the contract to another entity which did intend to become licensed. Pursuant to the contract, the assigning entity was entitled to additional compensation once the video gaming terminals were installed and operating. The assignee was subsequently denied a license under the Act. It then entered into an asset purchase agreement with the plaintiff, including sale of its rights under the contract. That asset purchase agreement provided that the assigning party would also receive additional compensation once the video gaming terminals were operating. The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action, seeking a declaration that it had the exclusive right to place video gaming terminals in the defendant’s establishment. The Circuit Court granted the judgment, relying upon Triple 7 Illinois, LLC v. Gaming & Entertainment Management-Illinois, 2013 IL App (3d) 120860. The Appellate Court reversed, holding that whether or not the parties’ assignment was valid and enforceable was a matter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gaming Board.