For months the state of Illinois has been wrangling with the shareholders of Emerald Casinos Inc., owners of the state’s 10th riverboat casino license. The state alleged that the principal Emerald owner, Kevin Flynn, had ties to underworld organizations, and would be forced to give up the license.
Efforts to resolve the problem by having Flynn sell the license to a responsible operator, such as MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGG), were rejected by state officials.
Finally, last week, the state announced that an agreement had been reached whereby Flynn and his family would relinquish their interests in the license and their partners would be reimbursed for the full amount of their investments plus interest.
Throughout the period, nothing was said about the fact that Flynn was the former owner of the Blue Chip casino in Michigan City, Ind., and had sold the riverboat to Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD).
Now, however, that the Illinois problem is finally being resolved, the Indiana Gaming Commission has decided to investigate the relationship between Flynn and Boyd Gaming since Flynn is listed as a Boyd consultant.
A spokesperson for the Indiana regulators said they were interested in reviewing the Illinois rulings to determine whether Boyd, an Indiana license holder, has a contract with a questionable person.
"The Indiana Gaming Commission has a duty to preserve the integrity of casino gaming in Indiana. The commission needs to conduct a full investigation into Flynn’s activities and Boyd Gaming’s involvement," she said.
On the sidelines is the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians who has been attempting to build a land-based casino in southwestern Michigan. The tribal leaders allege that Flynn and Blue Chip Casino have been working to block their efforts.