Gold Rush Files Countersuit In Gaming Saga

By Ben Hamill - May 22 2020

Gold Rush Files Countersuit In Gaming Saga

Gaming terminal operator Gold Rush Gaming, Inc., appears to be calling shenanigans by way of a countersuit filed in an Illinois case involving a lawsuit filed Illinois gaming cafés chain Stella’s and Shelby’s. Gold Rush claims that a termination of services notice received from new owners Illinois Café and Service Company (ICSC), which company just so happens to also own gaming café chain Dotty’s, is part of an elaborate scheme on the part of businessman Daniel Fischer (owner of ICSC) and previous owner Laredo Hospitality Ventures LLC.

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Laredo executive Gary Leff, unbeknownst to Gold Rush at the time of an agreement reached regarding the provisions of termination notices, had already stood in line to receive a 10% stake in gaming terminal operator rival Midwest SRO.

Gold Rush is convinced that then-Laredo executive Gary Leff’s request addressed to Gold Rush owner Rick Heidner back in 2017 regarding a possible change to the terms of the gaming terminals supply agreement, was all part of a devious and elaborate scheme to remove Gold Rush from the Chicago-area locations so that Leff’s Midwest SRO could be in a position to move in on the lion’s share of the revenue.

Hidden Agenda Behind Request

Gold Rush apparently only uncovered the scheme once the judge in the initial lawsuit removed select confidentiality restrictions from some of the documents and filed agreements between the Fischer-controlled Illinois Café and Service Company (ICSC), rival gaming terminal operator SRO, and Laredo Hospitality Ventures LLC (previous owner of Stella’s and Shelby’s).

What the “termination clause” in the agreement entered into by an at-the-time-unsuspecting Gold Rush and now Midwest SRO stakeholder Gary Leff basically comes down to is an attempt by a gang of predatory and connected parties to create a video gaming entity that benefits from all ends of the equal-profit sharing laws passed by the Illinois Gaming Board.

Violations From Both Sides

Gold Rush contends that Fischer’s and Leff’s actions constitute a violation of an Illinois state law prohibiting locations with gaming licenses from serving as their own terminal operator. The same law stipulates that taxes after profits must be shared 50/50 between a licensee and a gaming terminal operator. What Leff basically gunned for was to have both sides of the proverbial bread in the butter.

Leff specifically, had according to Gold Rush’s countersuit averments, not only violated the rules of the Illinois Gaming Board seeking to ensure anti-inducement, but also those of the Illinois Gaming Act regarding the preservation of integrity of video gaming in the state.

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