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06/14/96 WILLIAM MASTRO v. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT

June 14, 1996

WILLIAM MASTRO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE; DOUGLAS L. WHITLEY, DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE; THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD; MORTON E. FRIEDMAN, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD; WILLIAM J. KUNKLE, JR., WILLIAM J. CHAMBLIN, J. THOMAS JOHNSON, ROBERT F. VICKERY AND MICHAEL H. ZARANSKY, ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD MEMBERS; AND RAYMOND NEIPERT, FORMER MEMBER OF THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Honorable Arthur L. Dunne, Judge Presiding.

The Honorable Justice Egan delivered the opinion of the court: Zwick, P.j., and McNAMARA, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Egan

JUSTICE EGAN delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an appeal by the plaintiff, William Mastro, from the judge's denial of his complaint for administrative review of the Illinois Gaming Board's decision to deny his application for an occupational license under the Illinois Riverboat Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10/1 et seq. (West 1992))(Gambling Act).

The Gambling Act provides in relevant part:

"(a) The Board may issue an occupational license to an applicant *** upon a determination by the Board that the applicant is eligible for an occupational license ***. To be eligible for an occupational license, an applicant must:

***

(2) not have been convicted of a felony offense, a violation of Article 28 of the Criminal Code of 1961, or a similar statute of any other jurisdiction, or a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.

***

(d) The Board may in its discretion refuse an occupational license to any person: (1) who is unqualified to perform the duties required of such applicant; (2) who fails to disclose or states falsely any information called for in the application; (3) who has been found guilty of a violation of this Act or whose prior gambling related license or application therefor has been suspended, restricted, revoked or denied for just cause in any other state; or (4) for any other just cause." 230 ILCS 10/9 (West 1992).

In 1991, the plaintiff submitted an application to the defendant Illinois Gaming Board (Board) for a license to work as a dealer at the Alton Belle Riverboat Casino. On his application, the plaintiff disclosed that he had been convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey.

In a letter dated February 21, 1992, the Board informed the plaintiff that it was denying his application because his shoplifting conviction in New Jersey made him ineligible for a license. The plaintiff made a timely request for a hearing on the denial of his application. In this proceeding, the parties brought cross motions for summary judgment. The administrative law judge (ALJ) denied the plaintiff's motion, but she granted the Board's motion.

In her recommended decision, the ALJ made the following findings of fact. The plaintiff had been continually licensed as a dealer in New Jersey since 1979. In 1989, the plaintiff pleaded not guilty to a charge that he shoplifted by leaving a Sears Roebuck store without paying for an incoming call display unit valued ...


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