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Illinois Gaming Market

Big Game 2020: Illinois Video Gaming Compliance Update

January 23, 2020

As the ‘Big Game’ approaches, it is critical for locations to stay compliant with Illinois law. While sports betting was authorized in Illinois in the summer of 2019, it has not yet been implemented. Remember -- any unlicensed betting or wagering in your establishment is illegal.

In general, illegal gambling is defined as paying for the chance to win a prize (when such activity is not licensed or regulated by the State or your local municipality, and specifically allowed under State law).  Such illegal gambling can include, but is not limited to:

  • Raffles without a permit or license from your local municipality;
  • Card games that cost money to enter and award prizes for winning;
  • Football squares;
  • Jar games or dice games; and/or
  • Monetary pools based on the result of the game, certain plays, etc.

As it relates to fantasy sports, we’ve previously shared that you are unlikely to be subject to Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) discipline if you (i) allow patrons to gather at your establishment to host their own league’s draft or associated events throughout the season, and/or (ii) advertise to or solicit patrons to hold such events at your establishment. You do not need to remove groups from your establishment simply because they are conducting a fantasy draft at your establishment and can serve them just as you would any other patron. Given that sports betting has been legalized, we suspect that this guidance will change. However, we will not know more until the rules are finalized. Until then, we recommend you continue to follow this previously shared guidance related to fantasy sports to ensure compliance with the IGB.

You will be held responsible if your location sponsors these types of gambling or allows this activity to occur on its premises. If illegal gambling occurs in your establishment, in addition to potential criminal charges, your video gaming license will be at risk. IGB Agents are known to check locations leading up to and during the Big Game to ensure you’re abiding by the law.

In addition to illegal gambling violations, non-gambling violations can include, but are not limited to:

  • Underage individuals present in the video gaming area
  • Permitting smoking inside the establishment
  • Serving alcohol to minors  

The IGB will not be tolerant of any infractions, and any location found to be in violation risks substantial fines and/or having its gaming license revoked.

Accel Entertainment values each and every one of our locations, and compliance is our top priority. Your Relationship Manager.

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