Gaming is a cash intensive industry and is often associated with crime. In the early years, casino operators were plagued by organized crime financing, hidden ownership, employment of individuals of questionable character and backgrounds with links to organized crime. Because of the infiltration of organized crime and unsuitable individuals, Casino gaming is one of the most highly regulated industries in America. The companies and individuals involved are carefully scrutinized and held to extremely high standards.
Many gaming companies (vendors) maintain that they cannot be influenced by organized crime because they are publicly-held companies with shareholders, regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission and/or licensed and regulated by government entities. Public ownership and governmental regulation may, in many cases, reduce the risk of influence by Organized Crime. However, these factors alone do not eliminate the potential for infiltration. Organized Crime infiltration of the industry is a serious concern. Organized Crime is no longer considered the Mafia. Organizations and individuals can be influenced by Organized Crime if the opportunity presents itself. The sheer volume of cash that is generated by gambling makes it a very tempting target. Historically, Organized Crime has infiltrated gaming facilities by providing services to ancillary areas of the casinos.
In 2002, the Legislature amended A.R.S. Sec. 5-602(A) to add the following: “In carrying out the duties prescribed in this section, the Department shall seek to promote the public welfare and public safety and shall seek to prevent corrupt influences from infiltrating gaming.” Additionally, A.R.S. Sec. 5-602(D) states, “The Department of Gaming is responsible for establishing a certification and enforcement unit charged with the investigative duties relevant to tribal-state compacts, including applications for certification, investigations and enforcement, and such other duties as the director of the Department of Gaming prescribes.”
Pursuant to the above statutes, the Arizona Department of Gaming conducts thorough background investigations of Vendors and their principal employees to determine their suitability for the issuance of State Certification.
The product and type of goods or services the vendor intends to provide to the Tribe determines the scope of the Department’s investigative process. Vendors classified as A or B Vendors, as described in this website, undergo in-depth background investigations to determine their suitability for State Certification. Such Vendors include, but are not limited to, Manufacturers of Gaming Devices, Financiers, Distributors of Gaming Device Component Parts, Surveillance Equipment, and other products that are closely associated with the operation and management of a Gaming Facility.
Vendors classified as D vendors, as described in this website, undergo less scrutiny because their goods or services are generally not directly involved with the operation or management of the Gaming Facility.
However, as with all investigations “…the State Gaming Agency shall retain the right to conduct additional background investigations of any Person required to be licensed or certified at any time while the license or certification remains valid.” Section 5(b)(3)*
*References the Tribal-State Compact and Appendices