Illinois Gaming Board Agent Receives Medal Of Honor For Heroism

Written By Dave Briggs on June 1, 2023

A retired Illinois Gaming Board agent has been awarded a Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts to save an elderly couple trapped in a burning car.

On Wednesday, IGB senior special agent Bryan E. Hileman was honored in a ceremony in Springfield attended by Governor JB Pritzker. Hileman, who retired recently, is the first IGB  agent to receive the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor for “exceptional bravery or heroism while performing his duties as a law enforcement officer.”

Wednesday’s ceremony, held at the West Side Christian Church, feted 136 law enforcement officers for bravery and heroism.

The IGB regulates the state’s gambling industry, which includes Illinois online sportsbooks and 13 retail casinos in Illinois.

Hileman pulled elderly couple from a burning car that exploded

On Feb. 19, 2020, Hileman was off duty and home when the power went out. He went outside to investigate and discovered a vehicle had struck a utility pole. An elderly couple was trapped inside the vehicle.

Hileman first helped a woman out of the car and then returned to the vehicle to pull her unconscious husband out from behind the wheel. Hileman brought the man to safety just as the vehicle caught fire. Not long after, the car exploded.

“Without regard to his personal safety, special agent Hileman’s swift actions saved the lives of an elderly couple,” said IGB administrator Marcus D. Fruchter in a press release. “Agent Hileman acted in a selfless and courageous manner. We applaud and salute his valor as well as that of the other award recipients.”

Illinois Gaming Board recently added six new agents

A little more than a month ago, the Illinois Gaming Board bolstered its ranks by adding six new agent trainees. The IGB had been dealing with a staffing shortfall, especially considering it growth of responsibilities.

There are currently 13 casinos, 45,000 video gaming terminals and nine sportsbooks in Illinois which generated more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue to the state and local communities in calendar year 2022.

On Saturday, the Golden Nugget Casino opened in Danville. It is the 13th Illinois casino to open.

The Temporary by Full House Resorts is the most recent casino to open in the Prairie State. It opened on Feb. 27. PlayIllinois was there shortly thereafter to write a review of the Waukegan casino.

A press release said the additional IGB agents, “will be assigned to IGB casino field offices statewide. Hiring and training new gaming agents is part of the IGB’s ongoing effort to ensure fair and proper gaming practices throughout the state.”

The new gaming agent trainees and casino assignments include:

  • Colin Brinkmeier — Rockford
  • Brent Buckles — East St. Louis
  • Kenneth Fox — Joliet
  • Taliyah Ivy — Des Plaines
  • Benjamin Joerger — Peoria
  • Joshua Wright — Rockford

This is the IGB’s first police graduating class since July 2019.

The agents have already completed a 560-hour basic training course for law enforcement officers.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in North America with an emphasis on the casino, sports betting, horse racing and poker sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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