Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts took effect in 1993. In 2001, terms of the current Compacts with 21 Arizona Tribes were successfully negotiated for State regulation of approved Class III gaming activities on Tribal lands in Arizona. The Compacts (or agreements) contain detailed regulatory, technical, and internal control standards for the operation of Indian gaming. The Compacts last for ten years and can be renewed for one term of ten years and one additional term of three years.
The current Compact was passed by Arizona voters in the November 2002 election as Proposition 202, which is part of state law in Section 5-601.02 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. The Compact updated regulatory parameters for Class III gaming activities and required that the Tribes make monetary contributions to the State based on the net revenues received from gaming operations. The Proposition also authorized the State to enter into and maintain Tribal Compacts for up to 23 years.
All federally recognized tribes in Arizona have a Gaming Compact with the State of Arizona – 16 Arizona tribes operate 24 Class III casinos in the State. Another six tribes do not have casinos but have slot machine rights that they may lease to other tribes with casinos (Transfer Agreements). Current Compacts and appendices require:
- A minimum theoretical percentage payout of 80 percent for slot machines during the expected life of the game.
- A minimum theoretical percentage payout of 83 percent for video poker games, and 75 percent for keno during the expected life of the games.
- A maximum of 18,158 slot machines in the State, including transfer agreements. Currently, there are about 15,390 slot machines.
- A maximum of 1,301 slot machines in any one casino. Slot machine wage limit of $29 for most tribes.
- A maximum of 3,318 blackjack and poker tables in the State.
- A combined maximum of 119 blackjack and poker tables in any one casino and bet limits for poker and blackjack.
- A maximum of 43 casinos in the State. That includes a combined maximum of 29 casinos for gaming tribes that had casinos at the time the Compact took effect in 2003. It also includes a combined maximum of 14 casinos for non-gaming tribes that didn’t have casinos in 2003. If a tribe leases its slot machine rights to another tribe, which many have done, then the number of casinos the first tribe can operate is reduced.
- Any Tribe may transfer their slot machine rights to other tribes. These transfer agreements allow remote tribes to receive gaming money.
- Tribes have a law enforcement plan to address criminal and undesirable activity at the casinos and provide for sufficient law enforcement resources to protect public health, safety, and welfare.
- An on-line electronic monitoring system that will speed the flow of slot machine data to the Department. In urban casinos, the Department will have remote access to real-time information on casino games.