The Nevada Gaming Control Board last week recommended that video gaming terminal supplier and route operator Accel Entertainment be awarded a two-year license to operate in the state, contingent on the supplier closing the deal to acquire Montana-based route operator Century Gaming Technologies for $140 million.
The recommendation went to the Nevada Gaming Commission, which makes the final determination on licensing. The commission will consider the application on May 19.
The licensing now goes before the Nevada Gaming Commission for consideration on May 19. Illinois-based Accel expects the Century deal to close by the end of May, which will give Accel, based in Illinois, access to both the Nevada and Montana markets.
NGCB members grilled Accel official on a $5 million fine levied against the company by the Illinois Gaming Control Board over an agreement the company signed with DraftKings. The company was fined in December for entering into a deal with DraftKings in order to pay commissions to business owners to entice them into putting Accel gambling machines in their establishments.
According to the complaint, as part of the deal between the betting companies, Accel would offer DraftKings advertising space on its video gambling screens, and then would get $200 from each new customer it drove to the sports betting outfit, provided they met certain conditions.
The Illinois Gaming Act prohibits video gambling operators from offering “inducements” to try and drum up or maintain video gambling business, and regulators held that the $21,000 in commissions paid out to Accel violate the law.
“I will tell you that having an outstanding matter against you seeking a $5 million fine on a gaming-related item is very troubling,” said Gaming Board Chairman Brin Gibson at last week’s hearing. “It’s extraordinarily hard for me to even go forward.”
Board member Brittnie Watkins said she was troubled with Accel executives about their handling of a sexual-harassment case and other issues, such as due diligence and document retention.
“When I look at your history of failure of due diligence, I don’t know that I believe you’re going to be fully compliant,” Gibson said. “We have 425 agents who are highly trained, but we’re not like some jurisdictions where we can place an agent with each licensee. We rely heavily on making sure we don’t let the wrong people in. That’s the reason we’re focused so heavily on your history of compliance.”
Accel lawyer Gregory Gemignani told the board that the company has implemented compliance plan, continues to improve it, and complies with what is expected in Nevada. He noted that the Century staff will remain in place and their culture of compliance will be absorbed into Accel and made part of its operations.
The concerns were the reason for the license limit of two year. “A limit of two years won’t take you that long to establish a track record and reapply,” Gibson told the Accel officials.