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Illinois Gaming Market

LATEST UPDATES: How COVID-19 is Affecting the Video Gaming Industry

October 28, 2020
These are unprecedented times in our industry and Accel Entertainment is here to assist our partners in any way we can. We are working to keep all lines of communication open and to pass along any new information as it emerges. Please read our updates below. 

October 30, 2020: Please see the important information regarding COVID-19 mitigations in Region 3 (Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, and Scott counties) from the Illinois Gaming Board below.
 
Beginning Sunday, November 1, 2020, food and beverage service in video gaming locations in Region 3 is suspended. Outdoor service, curbside and carryout is permitted. Current mitigation measures will remain in effect, so that all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations in Region 3 will be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily - starting at 11:00 PM on Sunday.
 
Regions 1,4,5,7,8,9,10 are also under mitigation protocols and they will remain in effect. All video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming in mentioned Regions will be limited to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily, including truck stops.
 

As a reminder, the Illinois Gaming Board is requiring masks to be worn at all times inside the video gaming area. Congregating around video gaming terminals is prohibited and there is a one person per video gaming terminal limitation. Existing social distancing, sanitizing and other mitigation protocols and measures in approved Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans remain in effect.

For more information please see the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.


October 29, 2020: Beginning Saturday, October 31, 2020, COVID mitigations limiting gaming hours to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily will take effect in Region 9 (McHenry and Lake Counties). All Video Gaming Terminals will be disabled at 11:00pm on Saturday. 
 
From the Illinois Gaming Board: In all regions under mitigation protocols, masks must be worn at all times inside the video gaming area. Congregating around video gaming terminals is prohibited and there is a one person per video gaming terminal limitation. Existing social distancing, sanitizing and other mitigation protocols and measures in approved Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans remain in effect. 
 

October 27, 2020: The Illinois Gaming Board has instructed Scientific Games to implement COVID mitigations limiting gaming hours in Regions 4 and 10 to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily.
 
Region 4 (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties) and Region 10's (Cook County outside of the city of Chicago) limited gaming hours will take effect on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. All Video Gaming Terminals will be disabled at 11:00pm on Wednesday

Current mitigation measures in Region 1, 5, 7, and 8 also remain in effect. All video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming in mentioned Regions will be limited to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily, including truck stops.

For more information, please see the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.


October 21, 2020: The Illinois Gaming Board has instructed Scientific Games to implement COVID mitigations limiting gaming hours in Regions 5, 7 and 8 to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily. 
 

Region 5 (Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, & Williamson Counties) will take effect on Thursday, October 22, 2020. Video Gaming Terminals will be disabled at 11:00pm on Thursday.

Regions 7 and 8 ( Will, KanKankee, DuPage, and Kane Counties) will take effect on Friday, October 23, 2020. Video Gaming Terminals will be disabled at 11:00pm on Friday. 

As a reminder, all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations in these Regions will be limited to 8:00am - 11:00pm daily, including truck stops.


October 2, 2020: Please see the important information regarding COVID-19 mitigations in region 1 (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties) from the Illinois Gaming Board below.
 

Beginning October 3, 2020, food and beverage service in video gaming locations in Region 1 (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties) is suspended. Outdoor service, curbside and carryout is permitted. Current mitigation measures will remain in effect, so that all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations in Region 1 will be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily - with no exceptions.


August 25, 2020: Please see the information below from the Illinois Gaming Board regarding Covid-19 resurgence mitigation measures for region 4 in the Metro East (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties) and Region 7 in Northeastern Illinois (Kankakee and Will Counties). Accel is working with legislators and our governor to support allowing video gaming terminals to remain in operation during this period.

Region 4 in the Metro East (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties) and Region 7 in Northeastern Illinois (Kankakee and Will Counties) have exceeded IDPH criteria that trigger additional mitigations to combat a resurgence of COVID-19 and prevent uncontrollable spread. As detailed in the July 15 Restore Illinois resurgence plan, new mitigations will be applied if a region's positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% for three consecutive days, as it has in Region 4 and Region 7.

Beginning at 11:00 PM on August 26, 2020, all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations in Region 4 and Region 7 will be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily - with no exceptions. The cessation of video gaming operations during the non-gaming hours will be accomplished through the Central Communications System. Food and beverage service in the gaming area is suspended, while curbside and carryout is permitted.  Masks must be worn at all times inside the video gaming area.  Congregating around video gaming terminals is prohibited and there is a one person per video gaming terminal limitation. Existing social distancing, sanitizing and other mitigation protocols and measures in approved Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans remain in effect.

Failure to comply with these mitigation efforts could subject licensees to discipline, up to and including license revocation.

IDPH will track the positivity rate in Region 4 and Region 7 over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 14-day period, the region may return to the original Phase 4 guidance or a modified version as appropriate. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, the new mitigations will remain in place. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days, more stringent mitigations will be applied to further reduce spread of the virus, which can include the closure of bars and dining.

For more information please see the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.


August 19, 2020: Beginning at 11:00 PM on August 18, 2020, all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming locations in Region 4 will be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily – with no exceptions. Region 4 includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. The cessation of video gaming operations during the non-gaming hours will be accomplished through the Central Communications System.  All licensed gambling operations at the Draft Kings at Casino Queen and Alton Argosy casinos will be similarly restricted to the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily, and casino occupancy will be reduced during the mitigation period from 50% of fire code capacity to 25% of fire code capacity.  Failure to comply with these mitigation efforts could subject licensees to discipline, up to and including license revocation.

Region 4 has exceeded the Illinois Department of Public Health criteria to [prevent a resurgence of COVID-19. IDPH will track the positivity rate in Region 4 over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 14-day period, the region will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, the new mitigations will remain in place. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days, more stringent mitigations will be applied to further reduce spread of the virus, which can include the closure of indoor bars and dining.

Accel is in contact with legislators and our governor in support of allowing video gaming terminals to remain in operation during this period.  

For more information please see the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), website here.


June 25, 2020: We have just received word from the Illinois Gaming Board that VGT gaming will relaunch statewide on Wednesday July 1 at 9:00 AM. You may view a copy of the press release HERE. While we all shared your hope that VGT gaming would go live at the start of Phase 4 on June 26th, we are excited to have an official go live date.

Thank you for all your support in advance of relaunch. Our collective work to meet the IGB's resumption protocols will allow us to return safely. If any new information becomes available we will keep you informed as we work towards Wednesday's relaunch.


June 15, 2020: The “Restore Illinois” metrics designed by Governor Pritzker continue to improve and suggest that Illinois will advance to Phase 4 later this month.  The IGB is on record stating that video gaming will not return before the State enters Phase 4, which can happen at the earliest on Friday, June 26. The IGB released protocols for resumption of video gaming operations this week viewable by clicking HERE (Video Gaming protocols are addressed starting on page 6).

Accel Relationship Managers will be reaching out or visiting partner establishments to determine the proper course of action per the IGB guidelines. Accel wants to ensure our partner locations are ready to open once as soon as permitted by the IGB. Closer to our re-opening date, we will also provide a PPE kit for each location that will include IGB approved products to promote a clean and safe gaming environment. We will also work with each establishment on the proper spacing or dividers needed for each location to adhere to the IGB guidelines.
 
Accel has been actively working during the shutdown to come back quickly and compliantly, some of the projects include:
  • Installing empty cash cans in VGTs to expedite their return to operation
  • Eliminating any repair or maintenance issues at our locations
  • Created and printed signage for all locations to ensure compliance with IGB protocols
  • Revamping our marketing efforts as well as improved our proprietary Accel Loyalty Engine (sweepstakes software) to help our locations reach, engage, and reassure our players
  • Sourced PPE, Dividers, and cleaning supplies to comply with IGB regulations
Please know that the Accel team is committed to our partnerships and is doing everything we can to prepare for future success together. We are ready to help you welcome our players back safely as soon as the IGB permits.

June 12, 2020: Yesterday, the Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) conducted its first board meeting since January and we continue to gain more information on the return of video gaming in Illinois. 

The Restore Illinois metrics designed by Governor Pritzker continue to improve and suggest that Illinois will advance to Phase 4 later this month.  The IGB is on record stating that video gaming will not return before the State enters Phase 4, which can happen at the earliest on Friday, June 26.

The IGB released protocols for resumption of video gaming operations this week viewable by clicking HERE  (Video Gaming protocols are addressed starting on page 6). Accel will partner with you every step of the way to ensure a successful re-opening when the IGB permits. Our Relationship Managers will be visiting your location over the next two weeks to assess how we may comply with the IGB re-opening protocols. Closer to our re-opening date, we will also provide a PPE kit for your location that will include approved products to promote a clean gaming environment.

Accel will also be completing a Pandemic Resumption Plan for the State that details our safety and sanitization procedures that will allow for a successful re-launch of video gaming.


June 3, 2020: Over the past few nights, our nation experienced protests and gatherings that sadly turned violent in too many instances. Accel stands with all of our partner establishments to use our combined efforts and resources to negate any damage to residents or to property.

We will continue to closely monitor protest gatherings near our partner locations and will proactively communicate any relevant information we receive. Please contact local law enforcement to learn of any potential threats and if you see criminal behavior. As always we are here to support you and assist with any questions during this time at (888) 972-2235.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission has just approved Mixed Drinks/Cocktails "To Go." A State of Illinois retailer’s licensee (1A License holders) may sell and deliver “to go” mixed drinks/cocktails for off-premises consumption strictly under the following conditions found here

Maintain a healthy business during COVID with a continuity plan


Update June 1, 2020: Please see the FAQ document from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission on Restore Illinois Phase 3 guidance. This guide contains useful information on outdoor service regulations, steps to apply for a special use permit for outdoor service, as well as other helpful information as we enter Phase 3. As you know, video gaming is still suspended by the Illinois Gaming Board until further notice.
 
You can access the guide HERE.

Update May 22, 2020: Governor Pritzker announced that restaurants and bars will be allowed to re-open with outdoor seating as soon as Friday, May 29. If you need help preparing to re-open your outdoor dining area please call (888) 972-2235.  Don’t forget to make sure your internet is connected


Update May 18, 2020: The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released its first phase of long-awaited guidance to assist borrowers and lenders with calculating and applying for the forgiveness of loans issued by the SBA under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP application and instructions are available here. The application and instructions provide direction to PPP borrowers on a variety of issues and set forth specific instructions on how to calculate loan forgiveness amounts under the PPP. The application and instructions provide clarity on a number of open items, but additional guidance and regulations will be coming to further assist borrowers and lenders.

SUPPORT MAIN STREET – Help Bring Hospitality Back Sooner and Safer

Please join Accel and Support Main Street Illinois to help bring Illinois hospitality back sooner and safer. Please take a few moments to help us get our message to our state decision makers. Support Main Street has made it easy for our voices to be heard. Please take just a few moments to weigh in on this important issue. Simply click here to send a message.

Cleaning location from COVID-19


Update May 1, 2020: In response to Governor Pritzker’s extension of the “Stay at Home” order, the Illinois Gaming Board has extended the suspension of statewide video gaming and casino operations until further notice.  A copy of the Illinois Gaming Board’s press release can be read here.  

Update April 27, 2020: On Thursday, April 23, Governor Pritzker extended the "Stay at Home" order with minor modifications until Saturday, May 30. Click here to read about the extension. 

We continue our on-going discussions with the Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) and our trade association regarding re-launch plans. Please know we are ready to resume operations as soon as we get the green light from the IGB.

In other news, the President signed into law an additional $484 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) that includes more funding for small businesses.  Amendments were made to the federal PPP which could benefit many establishments. All legalized and regulated small businesses are now considered eligible for PPP funds if they meet all of the other requirements. This is welcome news because the percent of revenue derived from legalized gaming is no longer considered.

As a reminder, here are a couple state assistance programs that may still be available to many of you. 

State Assistance Programs

Illinois has made available a couple options for small business grants (free money) and loans (need to pay back).  Full details on all of these options can be found by clicking here; and are summarized below:

  1. Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – Businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3m in revenue can apply to receive a low interest loan up to $50k with a 5 year repayment.  There will be no payments for 6 months to support your business. Access the application here

  2. Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program – Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less in downstate and rural counties across Illinois to secure grants (free money) of up to $25k for working capital (rent, payroll and accounts payable).  Please check to see if your business is in an eligible area.  If you are eligible, you need to work with your local governments. Application information is available here

If you have any questions or would like help trying to apply for any of these grant or loan programs, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and availability and we’ll have somebody work with you to complete the process.


Update April 22, 2020: On Tuesday, April 21, the Senate passed a measure that would inject an additional $300 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The House is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday and it is widely expected to pass.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department recently updated their rules for small gaming companies for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Formerly, small businesses could only apply if their gaming revenue was 33% or below. That threshold has now been raised to 50%. Please click here to view the additional clarification by the SBA and Treasury.

We know that these relief programs provide some help, but fall short of covering all who are in need. Here at Accel, we are doing everything we can to assist you and your location during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions or would like help in applying for loan programs, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and availability and an Accel representative will reach out to help you work through the process.

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Update April 15, 2020: The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department updated their rules for small gaming companies for the Paycheck Protection Program. Formerly, small businesses could only apply if their gaming revenue was 33% or below. That threshold has now been raised to 50%. Please click here to view the additional clarification by the SBA and Treasury.

We know that this provides some help but falls short of covering all who are in need. Here at Accel, we are doing everything we can to assist our partner locations during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions or would like help in applying for loan programs, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and schedule availability and an Accel representative will reach out to help you work through the process.

We also wanted to share a new grant program for employees. Partnering with The Greg Hill Foundation, Samuel Adams has launched the Restaurant Strong Fund. The Restaurant Strong Fund is offering $1,000 to restaurant workers in 20 states, including Illinois. If you know of any employees struggling during this time, we encourage you to send them the application. Please click here to view.

Accel Resources Available

Update April 14, 2020: On Monday, April 13th, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded $14 million in small grants to over 700 bars, restaurants, and hotels. 12,000 businesses applied for funding. In the central region, the first region to announce grants, Accel is pleased to see 19 of our partner location owners received this critical funding.

If you have any questions or would like help in applying for this loan program, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and schedule availability and an Accel representative will reach out to help you work through the process.


Update April 13, 2020: Please see the highlights below from the April 8 release from the Illinois Gaming Board ("Gaming Board"). The Gaming Board is extending April licensee renewal fee due dates to ten (10) days after the Gaming Board resumes statewide video gaming operations. A copy of the Gaming Board’s press release in its entirety can be read here
 
Illinois Gaming Board Notice:


The Illinois Gaming Board (the “Gaming Board”) is issuing this guidance to Video Gaming Licensees regarding payment of license renewal fees during the Statewide Video Gaming Suspension Period in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Suspension Period”).

Prior to the Suspension Period, renewal fees for April licensees were due on or before March 31, 2020. Video Gaming Rule 570 provides that a license expires unless the renewal fee is paid prior to the license expiration date. In recognition of the hardships caused by this unprecedented public health crisis, the Gaming Board has extended the March 31, 2020 renewal fee payment deadline. Renewal fees are now due ten business days after the Gaming Board resumes statewide video gaming operations.

Additionally, and to further alleviate the burdens caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Gaming Board also suspended billing through at least April 30, 2020. During the Suspension Period, the Gaming Board will not initiate any enforcement actions or assess any penalties for unpaid license fees that came due during this period.


Update April 2, 2020: There are a variety of aid options available to those who have been affected by COVID-19. Please see some of these resources below.
 

Clicking here you will find a fact sheet for the CARES ACT Paycheck Protection Program from the United States Treasury Department. This program allows businesses under 500 employees to obtain forgivable loans (free money) to pay their payroll costs, mortgage interest expense, rent and utilities.

Starting tomorrow Friday, April 3rd, businesses can apply for and receive loans from this program. The United States Treasury recommends that you apply as soon as possible because the loans will be processed on a “first come, first serve” basis.

Below are few important points to note:

  • Loan amount can be up to 125% of 2 months of your average 2019 monthly payroll costs
    • For example, if your average monthly payroll was $10,000 you can receive a loan for up to $25,000
  • You can use the loan to pay for payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made
  • The loan is due in 2 years and has a fixed interest rate of 0.5%
    • All payments on the loan, including interest and principal, are deferred for 6 months
  • You can request that your loan will be forgiven (do not need payback) if you use at least 75% to cover payroll costs
    • You also must maintain or bring back your staff by June 30th 2020 to the same level it was before February 15th, 2020
    • To request forgiveness, you must submit a request to the lender which is servicing the loan with documentation of your payroll and usages of the loan
  • No personal guarantee or collateral is required for the loan
  • The loan is administered through approved SBA lenders

Three documents to help you with the loan application process (please click to view):

  1. Loan Application
  2. Paycheck Protection Program Fact Sheet
  3. An Approved List of SBA Lenders
If you have any questions or would like help in applying for this loan program, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and availability and we’ll have somebody work with you to complete the process.
 
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The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is offering $500 to restaurant industry employees financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment.
 
Grants from the fund will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis to individuals that meet the eligibility criteria. To apply for aid, please click here.
 
The Coronvirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a package of measures introduced to help lessen the impact felt from the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many different programs contained in the CARES act, and this webinar focuses on those that pertain to business owners and independent contractors. 
 
Please view this informational webinar here.

Update March 31, 2020: In response to Governor Pritzker’s extension of the “Stay at Home” order, the Illinois Gaming Board has extended the suspension of statewide video gaming and casino operations until April 30, 2020.  A copy of the Illinois Gaming Board’s press release can be read here.  

Update March 27, 2020: To better assist our small business partner during the COVID-19 pandemic, Accel has compiled some State and Federal assistance programs currently available. To our partner locations: if you are an Illinois slot machine location and have any questions or would like help trying to apply for any of these grant or loan programs, please send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and availability and we will work with you to complete the process.

Accel Resources Available

State Assistance Programs

Illinois has made available a few options for small business grants (free money) and loans (need to pay back).  Full details on all of these options can be found by clicking here; and are summarized below:

  1. Hospitality Emergency Grant Program – Bars and restaurants with under $1m in 2019 revenue can apply for up to $25k in grants (free money) to fund working capital (rent, payroll and accounts payable), job training or technology enabling operations.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, April 1st at 5pm. Businesses will be selected through a lottery pool of all applicants.

  1. Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – Businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3M in revenue can apply to receive a low interest loan up to $50K with a 5 year repayment. There will be no payments for 6 months to support your business. The form to express interest in this loan will be available by Friday, March 27th.  Once the form is available, you should apply immediately. 

If selected as an eligible business, you will be invited to apply for the loan beginning April 1st.

  1. Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program – Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less in downstate and rural counties across Illinois to secure grants (free money) of up to $25K for working capital (rent, payroll and accounts payable). Please check to see if your business is in an eligible area.

For those who qualify, please work with your local government to submit an application which will be available on Friday, March 27th.

Suspension of Renewal Fees

The Illinois Gaming Board has suspended April license renewal fees in recognition of the hardship COVID-19 has caused.  The fees will now be due 10 business days after the Gaming Board resumes statewide video gaming operations. Click for details.

Federal Stimulus Update

The Senate has passed a federal stimulus package which includes small business loans and cash payments to individuals.  The package still needs to pass through the House of Representatives and be signed into law.  We’ll update you with the specifics of the final package when it becomes law.

If you have any questions or would like help trying to apply for any of these grant or loan programs, send an email to relief@accelentertainment.com with your phone number and availability and we’ll have somebody work with you to complete the process.


Update March 26, 2020: The Illinois Gaming Board (the “Gaming Board”) is issuing this guidance to Video Gaming Licensees regarding payment of license renewal fees during the Statewide Video Gaming Suspension Period in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Suspension Period”).

Prior to the Suspension Period, renewal fees for April licensees were due on or before March 31,
2020. Video Gaming Rule 570 provides that a license expires unless the renewal fee is paid prior to the license expiration date. In recognition of the hardships caused by this unprecedented public health crisis, the Gaming Board has extended the March 31, 2020 renewal fee payment deadline. Renewal fees are now due ten business days after the Gaming Board resumes statewide video gaming operations. To read the full statement from the IGB, please click here.

Additionally, and to further alleviate the burdens caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Gaming Board also suspended billing through at least April 8, 2020. During the Suspension Period, the Gaming Board will not initiate any enforcement actions or assess any penalties for unpaid license fees that came due during this period.


Update March 25, 2020: Due to Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” directive and the Illinois Gaming Board suspending video gaming operations until at least April 8th, we have adjusted our operations at Accel to accommodate the change in business during this unprecedented time.  Our call center (888-972-2235) is still open from 6am – 10pm each day to take calls.  If you need to reach us outside of those hours, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.   

Please know that since the initial suspension of video gaming, the Accel team has been working diligently on our partner locations’ behalf to help them through these difficult times. In addition to other initiatives, we are supporting the “Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act.”

  1. To provide your support, click here
  2. For details on the Act, click here

Further, Accel has created the “Accel Food and Services Guide” to highlight our partner establishments that are still open during this time. To add your business, please click here.

At this time, there are options available through the State and Federal government to help small businesses:

  • Governor Pritzker’s recent issuance of a Disaster Proclamation affords small businesses the option to access Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Low-Interest Loans. Information is currently available on the SBA website, please click here to learn more.
  • The Federal Reserve has announced a “Main Street Lending Program” which can be referenced on federalreserve.gov.
    • This program is designed to supplement any other relief businesses may qualify for from the SBA.  They are finalizing the program as we speak—we will share the details when they come available. 

These programs may be unfamiliar to many. To better support our partner locations, we are working to get a better understanding of how these programs work, what it takes to become eligible, and how to apply. Once we have more specific information on these programs, we will be providing further updates.


Update March 22, 2020: We encourage you to click here to support the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act (as part of the broader CARES ACT). This plan provides direct and targeted relief designed to benefit restaurant and food service businesses of every size in every corner of the country.

Specifically, the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act:

  • Provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
  • Expands the allowable uses for 7(a) loans to permit payroll support, including paid sick leave, supply chain disruptions, employee salaries, mortgage payments, and other debt obligations to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Provides $240 million in grants for SBA Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers for counseling, training, and related services for small business owners impacted by COVID-19.
  • Authorizes $25 million for SBA to provide grants to associations representing resource partners to establish an online platform that consolidates resources across multiple Federal agencies and a training program to educate small business counselors on those resources to ensure counselors are directing small businesses appropriately.
  • Provides $10 million in grants for Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers to offer small business owners impacted by COVID-19 counseling, training, and technical assistance.
  • Waives the non-federal match requirement for Women’s Business Center’s for a period of three months.

Please take a few moments to participate in this vital grassroots mobilization effort.


Update March 21, 2020: On Friday, March 20, Governor Pritzker announced a "Stay at Home" directive for Illinois beginning Saturday, March 21st at 5 PM until midnight April 7th. In addition, the Illinois Gaming Board announced that all video gaming operations will continue to be suspended until at least April 8th. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.
 
During this unprecedented time, Accel is supporting our partner locations any way we can, including getting the word out about services they are currently offering. If you have not placed your location on the Accel Food and Services Guide, please click here.
 
If you are looking for ways to support small businesses at this time, please click here to view our resources.

As of March 16, 2020, the Illinois Gaming Board has made the decision to shut down all video gaming terminals (VGTs) across the state. Starting at 9 PM Monday March 16, 2020 and through March 30th, all licensed video gambling establishments have been ordered to halt gaming operations. To read the full statement from the Illinois Gaming Board, please click here.

Accel Entertainment supports the decision to protect the safety of our fellow Illinois citizens. We also acknowledge and respect the financial impact and strain that such closures will have on our partner establishments. Rest assured that Accel Entertainment is working around the clock to best help our partners.

Accel Entertainment representatives will attempt to visit every location to clean and sanitize the VGTs and the gaming area surrounding them during the shutdown. The health and safety of our players and partner establishments is of paramount importance to Accel Entertainment and we are not taking this situation lightly. In order to best coordinate our sanitization initiative, we urge our location owners to reach out to their Accel representative or call us at (888) 972-2235.

If you have any questions about these latest industry updates, please contact us at hello@accelentertainment.com or give us a call at (888) 972-2235.

Accel Food and Service Guide

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