New York State Racing and Wagering Board

Oversight of Indian Casino Gaming Activities

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board oversees gaming activities at four Indian casinos. Pursuant to federal requirements, the casinos’ operations are governed by detailed written compacts between the State and the Indian Nations operating the casinos. Board inspectors at each casino are responsible for determining whether the casinos are complying with the numerous requirements contained in their compacts. We examined the activities of the inspectors found that certain improvements were needed. For example, the inspectors were supposed to formally assess the casinos’ compliance with the requirements contained in their compacts. However, the Board’s administrative practices provided no assurance all compact requirements were addressed in the reviews and due emphasis was given to the most critical requirements. When we examined compliance reviews that had been performed at one of the casinos, we found several important compact requirements had not been addressed by the reviews.

The compacts also require that all casino employees be licensed by the Indian Nations and no license be issued until the applicant is certified by the Board, which performs a background check on the applicant. However, we found that uncertified applicants were routinely issued temporary licenses and allowed to begin working at the casinos. Because of delays in the background checks, many of these employees may have remained uncertified for more than a year. We also found the Board had not established a process for verifying the accuracy of the State and local share of revenue generated by certain electronic gaming devices at two of the casinos. In the 2004-05 fiscal year, the casinos transmitted $57.1 million in such revenue to the State and certain counties. We recommended several improvements be made in the Board’s oversight of the casinos.

For a complete copy of Report 2005-S-45 click here.