Gambling figure who testified against mob boss charged with theft from gaming company

Vincenzo Dublino, who helped land Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno in prison, is still licensed to sell video gambling machines in Illinois.

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Vincenzo Dublino

Vincenzo Dublino

Illinois State Police

Years after testifying in federal court that he sold illegal video poker machines — and after his business was pipe-bombed by one of Chicago’s highest-ranking mobsters — a west suburban man has been charged with stealing money from his legitimate gambling employer. 

Vincenzo Dublino’s unsavory history was not enough to bar him from obtaining a state license to sell video gambling machines once the industry was legalized in Illinois in 2009.

But now, the 45-year-old gaming tradesman faces two felony counts of theft and one of forgery for other alleged dealings since then, the Illinois Gaming Board and Illinois State Police announced Tuesday. 

Authorities got a tip in 2017 that Dublino was submitting fraudulent documents for reimbursement from Accel Entertainment Gaming, where he’s a licensed video gaming terminal handler as well as a sales agent. 

Accel is the state’s largest video gambling company, with machines in more than 2,300 establishments, records show.

Gaming Board agents arrested Dublino Tuesday at his Oak Brook home, authorities said. 

Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno, pictured leaving the Dirksen Federal Building in 2010.

Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno, pictured leaving the Dirksen Federal Building in 2010.

Sun-Times file photo

In 2010, Dublino testified at the racketeering trial of Outfit boss Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno, when Dublino — with a grant of immunity — acknowledged leasing illegal video poker machines to bars in the Chicago area.

Dublino described to jurors how an incensed Sarno accosted him in the summer of 2002 outside Dublino’s Berwyn bar — called Forget About It — where the mobster chewed him out for trying to get his poker machines into a business where Sarno already had his own. 

”I don’t work for you. You go f--- yourself, fat ass,” Dublino said he responded. 

A few months later, Dublino’s nearby storefront was leveled by a pipe bomb. 

The feds linked the attack to Sarno, who is serving out a 25-year sentence at a Virginia prison, slated for release in 2032. 

Shortly after video gambling became legal in Illinois, Dublino received his terminal handler’s license from the Gaming Board in 2013. 

And despite the charges against him, Dublino still has it. 

The Gaming Board voted last year to order Accel to “disassociate” from Dublino and to revoke his license but “[t]hese matters are currently pending,” according to a statement from the Gaming Board. 

Representatives for Accel could not immediately be reached for comment. 

“The IGB takes all allegations of wrongdoing by its licensees seriously,” Gaming Board administrator Marcus Fruchter said in the statement. “The IGB works closely with all of its federal, state and local law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity and safety of gaming in Illinois.”

Dublino was released from the DuPage County Jail after posting 10 percent of his $50,000 bond, jail records show. 

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the state police Gaming Command at (312) 814-4700. 

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