Illinois Ops Meet Talk Gaming and More

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Pappas, IGMOAs Michael Gelatka, Zack Stamp

Mike Pappas (left) with IGMOA’s prexi Michael Gelatka and Zack Stamp here. Pappas was awarded an Energizer Bunny Award for dedication to the association while Stamp was given a lifetime achievement award for his years of service as an industry lobbyist and consultant.

The Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Assn. and the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Assn. held their combined annual meeting and trade show on June 22 in Bloomingdale, Ill., this year. Around 175 people attended the get together, which focused heavily on the continuing effort to push video gaming terminals throughout the state, and featured seminars, a silent auction, a trade show attended by 15 manufactures and a host of qualified speakers.

The groups kicked the day off with a closed board meeting that led into an open annual meeting; lunch brought about the start of their silent auction (money raised went to support the association’s PAC), as well as an address from AMOA President Gaines Butler.

After lunch, organizers had set up a Q&A session with Illinois state legislators and several of the association lobbyists. According to Rich Mitchell of the IGMOA, the local legislators talked about the status of several bills currently working their way through the state government, as well as how changes to the budget would affect gaming in the state. This was followed by sessions with Illinois Gaming Board officials and discussions about G2S implementations with representatives from Scientific Games.

“We’re still building our relationship with the Illinois Gaming Board so they can look to us as a trusted advocate,” said Mitchell. “They are the ones who make the final decisions in all this, but we want them to come to us for input.”

Illinois Gaming Board Reps

Representatives from the Illinois Gaming Board attended the meeting as well.

During dinner, the associations honored longtime lobbyist and consultant Zack Stamp with a lifetime achievement award, as well as Illinois operator Mike Pappas with an Energizer Bunny Award, which honors a member who has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the groups.

“Zack was one of the key players in making video gaming a reality here,” Mitchell said. “It took us 20 years to do it, and it would never have been possible without his help.”

Members who stuck around for the next day were able to golf and catch up with each other. For more information, and other state association meeting updates, keep looking to RePlay.

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