Here at Accel Entertainment we believe that your location’s gaming license should be treated as one of your most important assets. Therefore, your location’s liquor license should also be protected at all costs. Location owners should be devoted to protecting their liquor license against fines, or worse, revocation.
Accel Entertainment is dedicated to keeping our clients compliant with local and state laws. One way we help is by providing a well-organized binder that holds copies of all your licenses, registrations and permits. Plus, we help keep track of your impending renewal deadlines. (Renewing your state liquor license is now easily done online via MyTax.Illinois.gov and completed within 48 hours of your renewal application.) However, it is ultimately up to the location to avoid discipline related to its liquor license.
To help prepare you, here are some of the most common liquor license fines in Illinois:
This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Don’t serve contaminated liquor to your patrons! Be sure that you are serving customers what they paid for. This fine has been given out when top shelf liquor bottles are refilled with cheaper liquor or when fruit flies are visible in a bottle of liquor. Be clear and firm with your bartenders and servers that bottles should be kept closed when not in use and to check the quality of their liquor daily.
This next one is somewhat related to the first. If you know anything about being a good bar or restaurant owner, it should be that keeping your equipment clean is paramount to your success. If you were to allow your taps to become overly unhygienic, you could be facing a serious fine. The easiest way to avoid this fine is to clean your taps as often as possible. Try not to let your staff slack off from their regular cleaning schedule.
Sales to Minors
This is a very common fine for establishments with liquor licenses. It is illegal to sell liquor to a minor (person under 21 years of age) in the state of Illinois. Monitoring the admittance and service of minors is doubly important if you have video gaming or slot machines in your establishment, since it is also illegal to allow minors to play the video gaming machines. To help combat this common problem, get into a regular routine of screening IDs of your patrons and making sure all of your 21+ signage is properly displayed. You can check out our blog How to Ensure Your Bar and Gaming Patrons are Over 21 for more tips.
This is a simple one. Make sure you have all required signage clearly displayed in your establishment. Including your State Liquor License, your Illinois Business Tax Certificate, No Smoking signage, Pregnancy Warnings, and more. Check out our blog on video gaming signage requirements for more information.
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducts over 20,000 liquor license investigations a year. It is vital to protect your liquor license, especially if you also have a gaming license or plan on adding slot machines to your business. In the state of Illinois, a location can not obtain a video gaming license without a valid liquor license. If you are interested in learning more about common liquor license fines, we recommend that you check out the ILCC’s Top Ten Liquor License Violations. You can also check out the ILCC Rules & Regulations and a copy of the Illinois Liquor Control Act on the ILCC website. Don’t forget, if you are already partnered with Accel Entertainment you can always ask your Relationship Manager for advice about liquor license fines and regulations.
Want to learn more about getting your liquor license in Illinois? Check out our guide here.