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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Accel Entertainment to Pay $1 Million Fine to State of Illinois


A major operator of video gambling machines has agreed to pay the state of Illinois more than $1.1 million to end a disciplinary case over alleged violations of state law.

More than two years ago, Illinois Gaming Commission officials filed a lawsuit against Accel Entertainment, a western suburban-based company that has become the largest player in the booming video gaming industry.

Accel initially denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the allegations, but the Gaming Commission approved a settlement last week in which the company agreed to pay the state a $1 million fine and an additional $125,000 to cover the Commission’s “administrative and investigative costs” in the case. , said Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter.

exist board meeting On June 15, Fruchter said Accel “has admitted that its conduct in the disciplinary complaint did not meet” the standards and expectations of a licensed video gambling operator. Fruchter added that Accel is working to “enhance compliance, training and reporting requirements.”

Although the game board initially Seeks $5 million fine In that case, Board Chairman Charles Schmadeke applauded the settlement.

“I just want to say that I think it’s a terrific resolution and I hope it leads to a better relationship,” Schmadek said before the board unanimously approved the deal.

The complaint from the state gambling regulator said the company struck a deal with online sportsbook DraftKings to pay business owners commissions to install Accel machines on their premises.

It is illegal for video gambling operators to offer “enticement” in an attempt to solicit or maintain a video gambling business, and regulators accused Accel of paying a $21,000 commission in violation of Illinois gambling law.

Accel executives and their Illinois attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the resolution of the Gaming Commission case.

When the gaming regulator filed its complaint in December 2020, Accel responded that it disagreed with the Gaming Commission and intended to fight the allegations “vigorously”.

Headquartered in Burr Ridge, Accel was founded in 2012 and went public in 2019 as a Largest Operator of Video Gambling Terminals The company operates in 13 states of the country, according to its website.

after state law Approved in 2009 With video gambling legalized, Illinois now has video gaming machines at more than 8,300 locations, in addition to 13 casinos and 10 sportsbooks. Legal gambling in Illinois generated more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue last year, state officials said.

Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter on WBEZ’s Government and Politics team.


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