Illinois regulator issues $5m fine for “inducements”

The Illinois Gaming Board has said it will fine Accel Entertainment.
The Illinois Gaming Board has said it will fine Accel Entertainment.

Accel Entertainment allegedly entered a partnership with DraftKings to pay incentives to business owners.

US.- The Illinois Gaming Board is to issue a $5m fine to the video gambling operator Accel Entertainment for breaking rules on inducements.

Accel allegedly entered a partnership with online sports betting company DraftKings to pay commissions to business owners totalling $21,000 to incentivise them to install Accel machines at their properties.

The allegations state that under the agreement Accel offered DraftKings advertising space on its video gambling screens and would receive $200 for each new customer the ads drove to the sports betting platform.

Accel would then be able to share those payments with establishments in which the video gambling machines were located.

According to the Illinois Gaming Act, it is illegal for video gambling operators to offer “inducements” to boost company sales.

Accel President and CEO, Andrew Rubenstein, told WBEZ that the company would fight the allegations.

He said: “This was two public companies that absolutely knew what they were doing and following the law.” 

But the Illinois Gaming Board contends that under the partnership agreement, Accel had complete control over the payments to DraftKings and planned to use them to persuade clients to use their services.

Illinois’ sports betting handle reached $435m for October, leading industry experts to predict it could become the fourth-largest sports betting market in the US.