Thief arrested after stealing $14K in chips from Illinois’ Rivers Casino

An Illinois man, Ismail Ahmed Ateyat, 23, was arrested and charged with armed robbery after stealing over $14,000 worth of casino chips from the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines on Halloween. Ateyat entered the casino wearing a black ski mask and brandishing a handgun. He pointed the gun at casino employees and made off with $14,100 in chips before fleeing the scene.

Gaming Board agents were able to track Ateyat to his home, where they found the ski mask, handgun, and stolen chips. “Because of the swift and diligent work by our Gaming Agents and our local law enforcement partners, we were able to arrest this individual and recover the stolen casino chips,” said IGB Administrator Marcus D. Fruchter. “I am grateful to our Gaming Agents, Illinois State Police, Chicago Ridge Police and the staff at Rivers Casino.”

Ateyat was charged with three counts of armed robbery by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on November 1 and is currently being held without bond. His next hearing is scheduled for November 30 at the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Second Municipal District-Skokie.

According to the release, Illinois is home to 15 casinos, 11 licensed sportsbooks, and a network of over 8,400 licensed video gaming establishments.

The swift action of the authorities and the recovery of the stolen chips have been attributed to the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and casino staff. Ateyat’s arrest serves as a reminder of the close coordination between law enforcement and casino security in preventing and responding to criminal activity within the gaming industry.