The Department inspects
machine software, electronic monitoring systems and casino records
to ensure correct operation and disbursement of required payout
percentage. All gaming software and electronic slot monitoring
systems are tested by an independent testing lab before the machines
can even be shipped to Arizona. The independent lab confirms the
games are uncorrupted and meet Arizona’s strict gaming standards.
The Gaming Facility Employee
Certification Unit conducts background checks on employees and
prospective employees to ensure that only suitable individuals are
hired into the gaming industry. The certification process includes
criminal background checks, fingerprints, credit history reports,
financial background screenings, work history, review of criminal
cases or civil litigation, education, personal and professional
references, and tax records. During FY 2009, the Unit provided both
in-house and Tribal training. The Unit conducted two successful
gambling investigations, executing search warrants at residences and
a business resulting in the seizure of gambling devices, U.S.
currency, and additional illegal gambling evidence.
Certification of Gaming Vendors
Gaming Vendor Certification Unit determines the suitability of
companies and individuals doing business with casinos in Arizona.
The Unit is comprised of Special Agents, financial investigators, a
compliance auditor, and intake officers. Each company, principals of
a gaming company, and key personnel providing gaming products or
services must undergo a thorough background investigation. The Unit
certifies all vendors providing financing to Tribes for gaming
facilities, all management contractors engaged by a Tribe to assist
in the management or operation of a gaming facility, all
manufacturers and distributors of gaming devices, and all companies
providing services to casinos in excess of $10,000 in any one month.
Approval of Tournaments, Drawings
Casinos must seek prior approval before they can conduct
tournaments, drawings, new games, poker and blackjack variations,
promotions, and cash or prize giveaways. Within seven days of a
request, the Games and Systems Compliance Unit reviews these various
casino activities to ensure their compliance with the Compacts. The
Unit pursues training and educational experiences to remain
knowledgeable about emerging trends in gaming and regulation.
Tribal Investigations and Inspections Unit monitors Compact
compliance by conducting onsite inspections of casino operations and
investigating suspected Compact violations and criminal activity.
The presence of the Unit’s Special Agents in casinos offers the
opportunity to detect potential problems and to work with Tribal
Gaming Offices and casino officials to correct deficiencies. The
Unit is comprised of Special Agents, all of whom have previous
experience working as law enforcement officers and have
full-authority AZPOST certification.
The Intelligence Unit gathers and disseminates information involving
threats to gaming operations, patrons, and the public. Various
responsibilities include distribution of criminal data and tracking
of suspicious activities, counterfeit currency, cheating crimes,
forged instruments, and W-2G Jackpots. The Unit also serves as a
liaison between Tribes and other law enforcement agencies and
administers the Patron Self-Exclusion Process. The Department
maintains and disseminates a self-exclusion list of about 2,000
compulsive gamblers who have agreed to not enter and Arizona casino
for 1, 5, or 10 years.
Department conducts annual on-site audits of each casino to review
compliance with the Compact and its appendices. A Compact Compliance
Review team, typically including 10 to 12 Department employees,
checks hundreds of items ranging from cash handling procedures to
video surveillance to casino giveaways of free meals. The Department
audits casino books and records, electronic accounting and
monitoring systems, and also casino minimum internal control
standards and procedures. In the past year, the Audit Unit worked
closely with the Tribes and changed follow-up approaches to
significantly reduce the number of Compact violations. Also, a new
Audit Software System was enabled to achieve more streamlined
Department’s Administrative Services Unit:
Budgets, plans, and performs accounting functions for the
Manages the Department’s facilities, purchasing, travel, vehicle
Coordinates and manages the Department's Human Resources
Performs all of the Department's information technology
requirements, including computer and technology functions, and
maintains the Department's certification database system.
The mission of the
Office of Problem Gambling (OPG) is to provide and support problem
gambling prevention, treatment, and education programs throughout
Arizona. The Office reaches out to the public to increase awareness
and to promote prevention of problem gambling. It coordinates the
training of licensed counselors throughout the State who work under
contract to treat those affected by problem gambling. During FY
2009, the Office expanded awareness that compulsive gambling exists
and is treatable, and continued to ensure high quality treatment.
Also, attention was focused on the needs of Arizona’s youth by
creating a brochure and a screening tool that focus on their needs.