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Minimum Internal Control Standards

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Indian Gaming Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In response to the inherent risks and the need for effective controls in tribal gaming operations, the Commission, in 1999, developed Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS). Since their original implementation, it has become obvious that the MICS require technical adjustments and revisions so that they may continue to be effective in protecting tribal assets, while allowing Tribes to utilize technological advances in the gaming industry. To that end, this final rule contains numerous revisions to the Commission's existing MICS that provide clarification of the rules and the flexibility to allow tribal gaming operations to make use of technological advances.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 29, 2002.

Compliance Date: Each Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall, in accordance with the Tribal gaming ordinance, establish and implement tribal internal control standards within six (6) months of June 27, 2002, that satisfy the requirements of § 542.3 herein. For those Tribes whose tribal internal control standards already satisfy the requirements of § 542.3, no action is necessary.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe H. Smith, 202-632-7003 or 503-326-7050.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On January 5, 1999, the Commission first published its Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) as a Final rule. Since this time, as gaming Tribes and the Commission gained practical experience with the MICS, it became apparent that some of the standards required clarification or modification to operate as the Commission had intended. Also recognizing the changes and advances in Indian gaming and gaming technology since implementation, on November 27, 2000, the Commission published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking requesting public comments on the implementation of the MICS.

Along with requesting public comments, the Commission also solicited input and guidance from our own employees, many of whom work closely with Indian country to monitor compliance with the existing regulation. In addition to receiving input from our senior staff within the Washington, DC office, we also obtained input from staff working directly with Tribal gaming operations. This gathering of information culminated with a series of conference calls with our Regional Offices and auditing staff where we reviewed each provision of the regulation. Also reviewed were the numerous comments received in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Comments and suggestions received from our employees, emanating from actual, hands-on experience with the MICS, helped identify certain areas with which Commission employees had found difficulty. This input proved critical over the next several months as we worked to revise the regulation.

In keeping with its commitment to consultation and recognizing the government-to-government relationship it shares with Tribes, the Commission solicited nominations of individuals interested in serving on an Advisory Committee designed to assist in revising the MICS. Ten (10) tribal representatives were selected based on several factors, including the experiences and backgrounds of the individuals nominated, the size(s) of their gaming operation(s), the types of games played at their gaming operation(s), and the areas of the country their gaming operation(s) are located. The selection process was a difficult one as numerous highly qualified individuals expressed an interest in serving on this important Committee. As expected, the value added by involving tribal representatives who work daily with the MICS was immeasurable.

Those participating on the behalf of Tribes as members of this Advisory Committee were: Jamie Hummingbird, Director, Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission, Cherokee Nation; Patrick H. Lambert, Executive Director, Eastern Band of Cherokee Gaming Commission, Eastern Band of Cherokee; Stephen R. Lewis, Commissioner, Gila River Gaming Commission, Gila River Indian Community; Kristin L. Lumley, Executive Director, Yakama Nation Gaming Commission, Yakama Nation; John Monforte, Executive Director, Acoma Gaming Commission, Pueblo of Acoma; Kevin F. O'Toole, Executive Director, Oneida Nation Gaming Commission, Oneida Nation of New York; Sandra Plawman, Treasurer, Ho-Chunk Nation Gaming Commission, Ho-Chuck Nation; Jerome J. Schultze, Director, Morongo Gaming Agency, Morongo Band of Mission Indians; Lisa B. Whetzel, Director, Kaw Nation Enterprise Development Authority, Kaw Nation; and Saunie K. Wilson, Executive Secretary, Oglala Sioux Tribal Gaming Commission, Oglala Sioux. The Advisory Committee also included the following Commission representatives: Teresa E. Poust, Commissioner; Joe H. Smith, Acting Director of Audits; Michele F. Mitchell, Attorney; Timothy B. Russ, Financial Analyst; and Denise Desiderio, Assistant to the Commission. Also important to the success of this process was the involvement of a professional facilitator, Juliette A. Falkner, of Carr, Falkner & Swanson. Ms. Falkner was instrumental in keeping the Committee focused on our goals and realizing our optimistic timeframe for completion.

The tribal and federal representatives on the Advisory Committee worked together as a team, guided by a Partnership Agreement developed at its first meeting. An important component of this Partnership Agreement was that decision-making would be done by consensus. Without concurrence from all Committee members on a proposed change, none would be made. While a particular change may not be representative of an individual's first preference, it was something found to be within acceptable limits. As such, this rule represents a series of compromises made by all members of the Advisory Committee after much discussion.

The Commission worked closely with the Advisory Committee to address their concerns about the existing MICS and to address the nearly one hundred comments received in response to the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. Between May and November 2001, the Commission sponsored six working meetings. During these meetings, every clause of the existing MICS was reviewed and every comment submitted to the Commission was considered. Each meeting was held in a different region of the country, enabling visits to a number of tribal gaming operations. These visits provided valuable, first-hand experience with technological advances and concerns expressed during the comment period. Changes were made to the existing MICS based on comments, input from Advisory Committee members, and data gathered during site visits. At the conclusion of this process, the Commission published the Proposed Rule in the Federal Register on December 26, 2001.

On February 5, 2002, the Commission hosted a public hearing on the Proposed Rule. This hearing provided an Start Printed Page 43391excellent opportunity for individuals to provide comment about the regulation to both the Commission and to members of the Advisory Committee. A total of twenty (20) individuals presented testimony at this hearing.

The Commission received approximately ninety (90) comments in response to publication of the Proposed Rule. During the final meeting of the Advisory Committee, held in April 2002, each comment was reviewed and utilized to draft a Final Rule. The full Commission then approved this Final Rule.

General Comments

Authority

More than half of the commenters, as well as members of the Advisory Committee, question the Commission's authority to promulgate this rule, particularly as it pertains to class III gaming. Members of the Advisory Committee agreed to participate in the process of revising the MICS, despite their position that the Commission may be without authority to promulgate minimum internal controls for class III gaming. The Commission acknowledges that the participation of tribal representatives in this process does not in any way indicate concurrence in the Commission's determination that it does have the statutory authority to establish and enforce these regulations.

Internal controls are the primary procedures used to protect the integrity of casino funds and games, and are a vitally important part of properly regulated gaming. Inherent in gaming operations are problems of customer and employee access to cash, unrecorded cash transactions at table games, questions of the fairness of games, and the threat of collusion to circumvent controls. Internal control standards are therefore commonplace in the gaming industry and the Commission recognizes that many Tribes had sophisticated internal control standards in place prior to the Commission's original promulgation of the MICS.

For the Commission to appropriately fulfill it responsibilities under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), it follows that there must exist some rules for the handling of cash and the tracking of transactions that occur with great frequency in a gaming operation. These MICS are designed to establish baseline, or minimum standards, required of Indian gaming operations. There is no doubt that the MICS provide the Commission with a significant tool for achieving the stated purposes of IGRA. The Commission firmly believes that minimum internal control standards are necessary, and that the promulgation of these standards is a permissible exercise of its statutory authority to promulgate such regulations and guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement the provisions of IGRA.

The lengthy discussion amongst members of the Advisory Committee regarding authority also included a discussion as to whether the MICS should be promulgated as recommended guidelines versus a mandatory rule. Several commenters also made this proposal. The Commission continues to believe that the MICS should be issued as a rule.

MICS Structure

During both comment periods, several suggested that the Commission develop separate MICS for class II and class III gaming. Along these lines, several Advisory Committee members submitted proposals structuring the MICS so that the document itself was divided into class II and class III MICS. During consideration, a second alternative was discussed: that is, separating the MICS based upon tiers. A common complaint of tier A and B operations is that the existing MICS are confusing as to which requirements apply and which do not.

As with the original rule, this rule is not designed to classify games into class II or class III. Rather, the MICS address the control issues related to the particular game. Pull tabs, for example, can be played as a class II or a class III game depending on the nature and circumstances of their play. Section 542.8 pertaining to pull tabs applies regardless of whether they are being played as class II or class III gaming.

After extensive discussion, the Committee reached consensus on dividing the MICS along tier lines rather than game classification, recognizing that the requirements placed upon tribal gaming operations should differ based upon their annual gross gaming revenue. A number of commenters on the proposed rule indicated that they found this new structure helpful.

This final rule is organized essentially in two parts. Sections 542.1 through 542.18 contain both general provisions and standards relating to particular categories of games. Beginning with § 542.20, the rule is then divided based upon tier. Sections 542.20 through 542.23 apply only to Tier A gaming operations; §§ 542.30 through 542.33 apply only to Tier B operations; and §§ 542.40 through 542.43 apply only to Tier C operations. The Commission continues to believe that this structure provides the clearest guidance to Tribes of their obligations under the MICS.

The Commission recognizes that some Tribes may find it beneficial to have separate internal control standards for class II and class III games. The most effective method of tailoring these MICS for class II and/or class III operations is in the development of tribal internal control standards as discussed below.

Tribal Internal Control Standards

Indian gaming is and always will be very diverse. The Commission therefore recognizes that developing one set of MICS to address all situations in every tribal gaming operation is not possible. It is not intended for Tribes to simply adopt these MICS verbatim as tribal internal control standards. Instead, Tribal gaming regulatory authorities should utilize the following to develop their own internal control standards as provided for in § 542.3(c) of this part.

For example, a number of commenters suggested removing § 542.15 (establishing minimum internal control standards for credit) from the MICS because their operation does not extend credit, or because they are prohibited from doing so by their Tribal-State compact. Similarly, many operations do not participate in pari-mutuel wagering, or offer roulette. The Commission realizes that gaming operations do not play all games or utilize all procedures contained herein, and it is for this reason that we do not call for wholesale adoption of these MICS.

If an operation does not utilize credit, these provisions of the MICS do not have to be included in the tribal internal control standards. If craps, roulette, or poker, are not offered, standards regarding these games do not have to be included in the tribal internal control standards. If the Tribal gaming regulatory authority prefers having separate internal controls for class II and class III games, the tribal internal control standards can be written in this fashion. Tribal internal control standards should be developed in a manner that addresses the particular needs and desires of the Tribe. Doing so allows tailoring of the MICS to meet the individual needs of a diverse industry.

It is also within the tribal internal control standards that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority can elect to develop standards that are more stringent than those contained herein. Many commenters made recommendations that would increase the minimum standards set by this regulation. Although the Commission appreciates and commends the desire of some to increase the stringency of these standards, these MICS are considered Start Printed Page 43392minimums; the base upon which tribal regulators should build their regulatory structure. It was the Commission's determination that some of the suggestions exceeded the minimum standards appropriate for all gaming operations, and they therefore were not incorporated.

Tribal Gaming Regulatory Authority

One of the terms used throughout the rule is “Tribal gaming regulatory authority.” Tribes are responsible for the primary, day-to-day regulation of their operations, and the Commission recognizes that tribal governments have chosen different approaches of exercising their regulatory authority. A vast majority of Tribes have implemented independent tribal gaming commissions, which in most cases the Commission believes to be the most effective way of ensuring the proper regulation of gaming operations. Alternate regulatory structures have also been developed, such as utilizing existing tribal governments, business, or economic development agencies, when determined to be more appropriate to the needs of the Tribe. The term “Tribal gaming regulatory authority” is intended to refer to the tribally designated entity responsible for gaming regulation.

In order to clarify the role of Tribal gaming regulatory authorities and recognize their immense value, the requirement that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority approve procedures, in a manner as determined by the Tribe, before being implemented by the gaming operation has been added where appropriate. While the MICS require prior approval, it is important to note that they do not specify the manner in which the Tribal gaming regulatory authority should carry out this approval. The type of approval process implemented is a decision to be made by the Tribe. Some may desire issuance of an approval letter, while some may stipulate that failure to object within a specified period of time signifies approval. Others may wish to prescribe varying degrees of approval based upon the significance of the individual procedure. Regardless, this flexibility further enables the Tribe to tailor the MICS to their particular needs.

Overall, commenters commend the fact that revisions to the MICS specifically acknowledge that Tribes are responsible for the primary regulation of their gaming operation.

Accounting Standards

Information was presented to the Commission regarding the addition of accounting standards to the MICS. Data was reviewed from multiple gaming jurisdictions indicating that such standards are a typical element of a gaming regulatory framework. After much consideration, it was the Committee's consensus that promulgation of accounting standards should be reserved for the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. Furthermore, it was recommended that the Commission provide guidance to the Tribes in the development of the standards and that such guidance be in the form of a bulletin.

Technological Advances in Gaming

One of the most widely mentioned issues was that of technological advances. Many commenters felt that the existing MICS did not adequately address those areas in which new computer technology provides a level of control that equals or exceeds the standards set forth in this part. The Commission and the Committee have attempted to address this issue in two ways. First, where appropriate, specific sections of the MICS were modified to accommodate technological advances. Second, language was added to each section increasing flexibility by allowing use of computer applications that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in that section. Such usage would have to first be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. A variance would not be necessary, so long as the level of control required by the MICS is maintained and conflict with another standard is not created.

Investigation Results

In several instances throughout the MICS, the gaming operation is required to conduct investigations of statistical fluctuations. Several commenters suggested requiring that the results of these investigations be brought to the attention of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The Commission agrees and has added appropriate language.

Grandfathering

One commenter asked that their operation be “grandfathered,” and not be required to comply with this final rule. The Commission believes that in most instances, the standards included in the revised MICS have not been increased. Any gaming operation in compliance with the existing MICS should, in most respects, be in compliance with this final rule. Further, the Commission has increased the time for gaming operations to come into compliance with any new tribal internal control standards developed in response to this final rule. Therefore, grandfathering was not incorporated.

Language Clarification

Several commenters suggested language and grammatical changes to clarify certain provisions of these standards. The Commission agrees with many of these recommendations and appropriate changes have been made.

Improvement to Existing MICS

A number of commenters stated that the proposed rule was a great improvement over the existing MICS and commended the Committee for its work. Commenters indicated that both the structure and content was more understandable and better organized.

Section 542.2 Definitions

Many commenters suggested changes to the definitions section of the MICS. Changes were made in response to these comments to clarify the meaning of a number of terms used. Definitions for “Tribal gaming regulatory authority” and “weigh scale calibration module” were added to the standard. The definitions for “bank or bankroll,” “document acceptor,” and “gaming machine fill” have been deleted.

Two commenters requested a change to “sufficient clarity.” Industry standards were examined in developing the definition used in the proposed rule and this definition is believed to be appropriate. The Commission disagrees with the need for any change.

In some instances, commenters requested that definitions be developed for terms that are not used in the body of the MICS. The Commission decided that this may create confusion and chose not to add definitions of terms not used in the body of the MICS.

Section 542.3 Compliance

One commenter asked whether the determination of tier level discussed in § 542.3(b) would be made based on the collective annual gross gaming revenues of all gaming operations operated by a Tribe (for those Tribes operating more than one gaming operation). This is not the intent of the Commission. Rather, the determination of tier level will be made on a per operation basis. In other words, if a Tribe operates two separate gaming operations, one with annual gross gaming revenues of $4 million, and the other with gross gaming revenues of $14 million, the $4 million operation would be treated as a Tier A operation, and the $14 million operation would be treated as a Tier B operation. The two would not be combined to require compliance with Tier C standards. Start Printed Page 43393

Several commenters requested that the time limits contained within § 542.3(c) be extended. The Commission agrees in part and extends the deadline contained within § 542.3(c)(4) to nine (9) months by which a gaming operation must come into compliance with the tribal internal control standards.

Modification was also made to the ability of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority to extend this nine (9) month period by an additional six (6) months. Rather than requiring that a Tribal gaming regulatory authority request permission from the Commission to extend this time frame, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority now need only notify the Commission of its decision to extend the deadline.

One commenter suggested that the language used in § 542.3(c)(1) requiring standards adopted by Tribal gaming regulatory authorities be “at least as stringent as those set forth in this part,” should be changed to “provide a level of control that equals or exceeds those set forth in this part.” The Commission agrees that this language more clearly states the objective of the MICS as minimum standards.

Within § 542.3(c)(2), several commenters requested that the Commission develop and adopt standards that provide additional guidance for currency transaction reporting under 31 CFR part 103. While the Commission recognizes the importance of standards for currency transaction reporting, it does not believe it is the proper source of such guidance. Instead, gaming operations and Tribal gaming regulatory authorities should consult directly with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain assistance with 31 CFR part 103.

Regarding the requirement of § 542.3(f) that a certified public accountant (CPA) perform independent testing of the tribal internal control standards, several commenters suggested that, to save expense, the CPA should only perform testing of compliance with the Commission MICS. Both the Commission and the Committee agree that testing only against the Commission MICS would not be useful to those Tribes who have adopted tribal internal control standards tailored to meet the needs of their operation, particularly where certain standards have been made more stringent. As the primary regulator of their gaming operation, Tribal gaming regulatory authorities are equally, if not more, concerned with compliance with tribal internal control standards.

Several commenters asked that auditing standards be included in the MICS. The Commission believes that generally accepted auditing standards should be utilized, and therefore do not need to be included in the MICS. CPA guidelines continue to be available by request from the Commission.

Several commenters suggested adding language that tribal administrative remedies should be exhausted prior to any enforcement action being taken by the Commission. It is not the Commission's practice to take enforcement action without first informing the Tribe and Tribal gaming regulatory authority of deficiencies and allowing a reasonable period of time for resolution. Unless the deficiencies create an immediate and severe threat to the integrity of the gaming operation, the Commission will work with the Tribe and Tribal gaming regulatory authority to remedy the deficiencies. It is only after failure to address noted deficiencies within a reasonable period of time that the Commission would contemplate enforcement action. In response to these comments, the Commission has added language at § 542.3(g) recognizing this practice.

Section 542.4 Tribal-State Compacts

Commenters and members of the Committee requested clarification on the effect of the MICS on internal control standards contained within a Tribal-State compact. Advisory Committee members put forth wording that would require standards within a Tribal-State compact to take priority over these MICS. The Commission does not fully support this approach because some compacts do not contain internal control standards, or contain only limited standards insufficient alone to adequately protect the integrity of Indian gaming.

A number of Tribal-State compacts, however, do contain detailed internal control standards. In recognition, § 542.4 has been restructured to provide deference to internal control standards within a Tribal-State compact where they provide “a level of control that equals or exceeds the level of control under an internal control standard or requirement set forth in this part.” The Commission believes this language provides appropriate deference to Tribal-State compacts containing detailed internal control standards, while also addressing those situations where compacts contain more limited standards.

Section 542.7 Bingo

Several commenters asked for clarification of the term “independent person” as used in § 542.7(b)(5). It is intended that a person independent of the bingo caller responsible for calling the speed bingo game verify the ball drawn. It is not necessary that this person is an employee, and in fact, some small operations use a customer for this purpose. This would meet the level of control required by the standard. Modification has been made to more clearly state the intent of this standard. It is worth noting, however, that § 542.7(b)(9), requiring “personnel independent of the transaction” to approve payouts in excess of $1,200, does require utilization of an employee of the gaming operation.

One commenter suggested that only promotional payouts or awards exceeding a fair-market value of over $100.00 be recorded. The Commission believes that, for purposes of accountability and reconciliation, all such payouts should be recorded, regardless of dollar value. Therefore, no changes were made to § 542.7(c).

One commenter suggested adding the requirement that a “blind count” be performed under § 542.7(d)(2). Another suggested that two signatures be required by § 542.7(c)(1)(iv) to authorize promotional payouts with a high dollar value. While the Commission decided not to require these higher standards of all gaming operations, the Commission continues to encourage implementation of higher standards of control where desired.

One commenter suggested that a department independent of the bingo department should be responsible for the securing and inventorying of bingo paper, as required by § 542.7(e)(4). The Commission agrees with another commenter that this would place an undue burden on small gaming operations. It is sufficient that personnel independent of bingo sales be assigned this function.

Section 542.8 Pull Tabs

As in bingo, several commenters suggested adding the requirement that an independent department be required to verify the accuracy of the ending pull tab balance, as required by § 542.8(b)(5). This increased level of control is encouraged but not required by these standards, as it would place an undue burden on small gaming operations. In response to another commenter, this section was clarified by stating that “a person or persons independent of the pull tab sales and inventory control” shall be assigned this responsibility.

The Commission agrees with a commenter that weighing pull tabs is an acceptable alternative to the counting of pull tabs specified in § 542.8(b)(5). Accordingly, the word “counting” was changed to the broader term “reconciling.” Start Printed Page 43394

Section 542.9 Card Games

Several commenters suggested allowing the use of fill and credit slips in lieu of lammers for the transfer of cash equivalents between card tables and the bank as discussed in § 542.9(c)(2). The Commission did not adopt this change given that the fill and credit process for execution of transfers between tables and the card room bank represents a process exceedingly more cumbersome than that stipulated in the MICS. The use of the fill and credit process in this instance does however represent an acceptable alternative procedure.

One commenter asked whether § 542.9(d)(2) requires the Tribal gaming regulatory authority to physically mark or destroy playing cards. It does not. Instead, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority must approve the process of marking or destroying the cards. In fact, industry practice indicates that security personnel typically perform this function.

In reference to §§ 542.9(d) and (e), one commenter suggested that requiring the washing of plastic cards every seventy-two (72) hours of use makes no sense if non-plastic cards can be used for up to seven (7) days with no action. Typically, most operations use non-plastic playing cards for no more than twenty-four (24) hours, and this was presumed in developing these standards. Another commenter suggested adding language requiring cancellation of plastic cards showing wear. After consideration, the Commission agrees that it would provide better protection for the MICS to require routine inspection of plastic playing cards and allow the Tribal gaming regulatory authority to determine how often they should be washed.

Several commenters suggested that the standards for promotional progressive pots and pools at § 542.9(h) be changed to allow for the collection of a commission or administrative fee. The Commission disagrees and believes that funds contributed by the playing public to these pools should be returned to the public. It is worth noting, however, that there is nothing in the standard limiting the amount collected as a house rake, as long as players are made aware of the amount collected from each pot.

One commenter suggested adding key controls for duplicate keys to §§ 542.9(i) and (j). Such an addition is unnecessary as key control standards apply to all keys whether duplicate or original.

Section 542.10 Keno

One commenter requested clarification to the language at § 542.10(c)(1)(vi) regarding the inspection of keno balls in use. The commenter indicated that some have interpreted the standard to require inspection of keno balls while inside the drawing equipment. The standard, as currently written, does not require such inspection. Customarily, keno balls are removed from the keno equipment at the end of each session and transported to a secure location. Standard practice is for keno balls to be inspected once during each session of keno, generally as the balls are being reinserted into the keno equipment prior to the commencement of play.

One commenter suggested that the personnel access listing at § 542.10(j)(3)(vi) should require either an employee name or an identifying number. The Commission agrees and made this change.

One commenter suggested removing § 542.10(p) regarding manual keno. The Commission maintained this standard because it believes some gaming operations continue to offer manual keno.

Section 542.11 Pari-Mutuel Wagering

Commenters indicated that this section is largely improved from the existing MICS. Several commenters requested an additional exemption from the MICS for those operations that utilize an independent simulcast provider that is not a state-regulated racetrack. The Commission believes that the information required by the MICS, which must be obtained from the provider, is essential to the ability of the gaming operation to be able to determine whether it is receiving its guaranteed share of the handle. Thus, no additional exemption was added.

Several commenters also suggested fully exempting pari-mutuel wagering conducted pursuant to a Tribal-State compact, where the Tribe is responsible for security and other ancillary services, but not for the receipt, payment, and custody of all funds of the operation. The Commission believes that the exemption contained in § 542.11(a) would include those Tribes operating under such an agreement pursuant to their compact.

One commenter suggested removing the requirement at § 542.11(h)(9) that the gaming operation verify purged ticket information. The Commission believes that this information is necessary to verify that the purging of unpaid tickets is appropriate and is not being performed in an arbitrary manner that could impact winning patrons of the gaming operation. Likewise, reviewing purged ticket data is important to the participating locations since they affect the calculation of funds to and/or from the service provider.

One commenter suggested removing the “on a weekly basis” designation for the audit testing required at § 524.11(h)(3). The Commission disagrees. Weekly review of the information provided by the operator is necessary to ensure that the Tribe is receiving its contractually agreed upon percentage of the handle.

Section 542.12 Table Games

One commenter suggested that standards be included for debit card transactions at gaming tables. The Commission believes that, should a gaming operation choose to utilize this technology, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority would be responsible for developing controlling standards.

Several commenters suggested removing references to credit in this section. As discussed earlier, the Commission realizes that there are certain standards contained within the MICS that do not apply to all gaming operations. Gaming operations that do not utilize credit are not required to adopt standards specifically relating to credit.

Several commenters stated that reference to the standards for drop and count of table games found at § 542.12(b) should be worded the same as the reference to drop and count for gaming machines. The Commission agrees and has made this change.

One commenter stated that the requirement at § 542.12(c)(4) that the pit supervisor authorize a credit or fill was too stringent. The Commission agrees that intermediary gaming supervisors could authorize credits or fills and has changed the language to “pit supervisory personnel” to clarify this point.

Several commenters stated that the process of obtaining signatures on the copies of credit and fill slips was unclear. Section 542.12(c)(13) was reworded to clarify the signature progression required for these transactions. In addition, the standard was changed to allow a boxperson to sign for chip transactions at craps tables.

While some commented favorably about no longer requiring the counting of table banks of table games that were not opened during a shift, others suggested that § 542.12(d) should continue to require that table banks be counted, whether opened or not. The Commission believes the new standard allows for flexibility, particularly for small gaming operations. If a Tribal gaming regulatory authority believes that all tables should be counted regardless of whether they were opened, Start Printed Page 43395they can include this higher standard in their tribal internal control standards.

Commenters stated that the requirement to “mark and remove cards and dice from play” places an unnecessary burden on the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The language in § 542.12(f) was clarified to indicate that, as long as used cards and dice are secured, it is not necessary to mark them immediately after removal from play. It is also worth noting that this standard does not specify which entity is responsible for the task, only that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establish a time frame (not to exceed seven (7) days) for the marking, canceling, or destruction of cards and dice.

One commenter felt that the daily recap requirement of § 542.12(i)(6) as it relates to pit credit was originally modeled after the Nevada MICS, and only important for the purpose of determining monthly taxes paid to the state. The Commission agrees that these requirements serve little if any value in Indian country and they therefore have been deleted.

One commenter suggested allowing non-supervisory personnel to sign customer markers in § 542.12(j)(1). The Commission disagrees, but has changed the term to “pit supervisory personnel” rather than “pit supervisor” to clarify that supervisors other than the pit supervisor may also perform this function.

Two commenters suggested prohibiting rim credit, indicating either that it is not used in tribal gaming operations, or that it may lead to collusion between a player and a dealer. While the Commission tends to agree, it believes that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority should determine the suitability of rim credit. Tribal gaming regulatory authorities not wishing to permit rim credit can make this determination in their tribal internal control standards.

Section 542.13 Gaming Machines

Several commenters discussed on-line accounting systems. Several were concerned that the MICS require such a system. Others felt that an on-line accounting system should be required. While the Commission encourages the use of an on-line accounting system, such system is not required for coin drop devices.

A number of comments were received on § 542.13(d), resulting in changes to both the content and structure of the section. Several asked that the documentation requirements of § 542.13(d)(1) be reduced. The Commission finds the documentation requirements for single jackpot payouts to be appropriate due to IRS requirements that single jackpots in excess of $1,199.99 be documented.

Section 542.13(d)(1)(vi)(B) permits jackpot payouts of less than $1,200 with the signature of only one employee if an on-line accounting system is utilized. Several commenters stated that hopper fills should be treated similarly. The Commission agrees that the risks associated with hopper fills is greatly reduced when an on-line accounting system is in use that confirms the fill transaction, and has therefore modified this section to include hopper fills.

Many commenters mentioned the positive attributes of on-line accounting systems. Recognizing their ability to provide adequate protection for many transactions, several changes were made, including for example, the reduction in signature requirements in § 542.13(d)(2) for short-pays and accumulated credit payouts of less than $3,000.

Several commenters stated that they believe multi-denominational machines are not covered by the MICS. While it is true that the MICS are silent with regard to specific mention of multi-denominational machines, it is not necessary that each type of machine be specifically addressed in order to be included within the MICS. Multi-denominational machines are subject to the MICS as they are applicable to gaming machines.

One commenter suggested eliminating the requirement at § 542.13(h)(10) that in-meter reading data be retained for 5 years because it is excessive. The Commission agrees and has made this change.

One commenter suggested that the investigation of large variances between theoretical and actual hold required by § 542.13(h)(19), should be performed by a department independent of the gaming machine department and that the results of the investigation should be provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The Commission agrees with this recommendation and the language has been changed accordingly. Furthermore, because the Tribal gaming regulatory authority bears the primary regulatory responsibility, language regarding the sharing of investigative findings with the Tribal gaming regulatory authority has been added throughout the MICS.

At § 542.13(i), the Commission proposed consolidating hopper contents standards when gaming machines are either temporarily or permanently removed from the gaming floor. One commenter felt that requiring the counting of the gaming machine drop and hopper contents when machines were temporarily removed from the floor was of little value, and suggested reverting to the existing language. The Commission agrees and the language was modified accordingly.

Commenters disagreed about whether booth employees should handle lost player club cards. Some felt that they should be able to return lost cards to players, while others felt that booth employees should under no circumstances have access to lost player cards. The Commission believes that the language at § 542.13(j)(iii), which allows booth employees to receive lost player club cards, provided that they are immediately deposited into a secured container to which they do not have access, is an acceptable minimum level of control. At least one commenter saw this language as an appropriate compromise.

Several commenters suggested that the thresholds contained in §§ 542.13(m)(5) and (7), whereby investigation of coin and currency drop variances is necessary, were inappropriate. The Commission feels these amounts are a reasonable reflection of industry standards. Again, for those commenters that believe these amounts should be lower, it is suggested that this be done in the development of tribal internal control standards.

Section 542.13(n)(3) discusses the redemption of cash-out tickets. Remote validation systems are a technological advance providing a reasonable level of control. The proposed rule recognized this new technology, but limited its use to tickets not exceeding $1,199. Based on comments and relevant research, the $1,199 limitation was increased to $2,999 per cash-out transaction.

The language throughout § 542.13(n) referring to a “cashier” has been clarified to include a “redeemer” to reflect use of a remote validation system. It is worth mentioning that in the event the system goes down, cash-out tickets must be redeemed at a change booth or cashier's cage in accordance with § 542.13(n)(8) to ensure adequate surveillance to protect the integrity of the transaction.

Two commenters opposed the prohibition by § 542.13(p) of smart cards. With smart cards, there is no duplicate record of the information stored on the card, placing both the customer and the operation at risk. If, in the future, technology is developed that would alleviate these concerns, a gaming operation wishing to utilize the system may request a variance from the Commission. Start Printed Page 43396

Section 542.14 Cage

One commenter asked whether the check cashing standards of § 542.14 apply to independent check cashing companies. They do not. However, the Commission strongly recommends that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority adopt regulations that will ensure persons employed by such companies are suitable to work in the gaming industry. Likewise, the Commission recommends that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority install surveillance cameras over appropriate counter areas to ensure that the interests of its customers are adequately protected. It is also important for the tribal regulators to require that the service provider has adopted necessary internal controls to ensure compliance with Title 31.

One commenter stated that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, rather than the Commission, should determine the adequate minimum bankroll. The Commission agrees. The bankroll is the amount of cash or cash equivalents kept on hand to ensure that the gaming operation can satisfy its obligations to customers. Industry practice is for the gaming operation to determine the required bankroll. Section 542.14(d)(4) requires only that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority approve the formula utilized for this determination. The bankroll formula available from the Commission is merely recommended guidance issued in response to repeated requests from gaming operations.

One commenter asked whether chips, because they are a component of cage accountability, should be included in the bankroll formula. Chips, while they must be accounted for in the cage, are not cash equivalents for the purpose of paying customers.

Section 542.15 Credit

A number of commenters suggest removing this section from the MICS because they do not extend credit, or because they are prohibited from doing so by their Tribal-State compact. The Commission recognizes that not all gaming operations play all games or utilize all procedures contained herein. Again, this is where the process of developing tribal internal control standards becomes important. It is not intended for Tribes to simply adopt these MICS verbatim as tribal standards. Instead, Tribes should utilize the MICS to develop their own internal control standards that provide a level of control that equals or exceeds those set forth in this part and that address the particulars of their gaming operation(s). Doing so allows the opportunity of tailoring the MICS to meet the individual needs of a diverse industry. Tribes that do not extend credit are not required to include credit standards in their tribal internal control standards.

Section 542.16 Information Technology

Section 542.16(a)(1)(i) requires that all new vendor hardware and software agreements contain language requiring a vendor to adhere to tribal internal control standards. Two commenters opposed this requirement stating that such a requirement may create too few companies willing to do business with the Tribe. The Commission believes that, in order to protect the integrity of the systems provided by third-party vendors, this standard is necessary.

One commenter suggested adding the language “applicable to the goods or services the vendor is providing” to the end of § 542.16(a)(1)(i) to clarify what information is required. The language was added.

One commenter asked whether § 542.16(f)(1)(iii) requires a gaming operation to send computer hardware to the Commission for the purpose of performing auditing procedures. It does not. This standard instead requires that the Commission have access to hardware while on site.

Section 542.17 Complimentary Services or Items

The use of complimentary services or items, commonly known as “comps,” is customary throughout the gaming industry. This is true not only of commercial gaming, but also of Indian gaming. The Commission does not prohibit the use of comps in Indian gaming. To the contrary, the Commission believes that tribal gaming operations should possess the same business tools as commercial gaming so they can compete on an equal footing.

Complimentaries are typically used for marketing or promotional purposes. They can be used to entice new customers, reward continuing customers, or promote community goodwill. Because the issuance of a comp amounts to the provision of goods or services, comps result in a cost to the gaming operation. As such, a complimentary generally should not be issued unless it provides an economic benefit, real or potential, to the operation.

Determining how much of a gaming operation's resources should be expended on comps, as well as to whom they should be awarded, is a decision dictated by market conditions and unique to each operation. A gaming operation in a tightly competitive market may rely on comps to a much greater degree to attract or retain patrons than a gaming operation in a market with little local competition. When implemented properly, a gaming operation's use of comps will improve revenues and profitability, and ensure that the operation is competing effectively for the gaming customers within its market.

A number of commenters and members of the Advisory Committee objected to § 542.17 being included in the MICS. Most view complimentaries as a business decision and outside the scope of the Commission's authority. While the Commission agrees that the use of comps involves important business decisions, it also recognizes that abuse can amount to misappropriation of gaming revenues.

Given that the issuance of a complimentary results in an expense to the operation, misuse negatively impacts gaming revenues. This lowering of gaming revenues leads directly to a reduction in the amount of revenues available for transfer to the Tribal government, and in turn, a reduction in the overall services a Tribe can provide to its members. Misuse of complimentaries thereby thwarts the principle that gaming revenues should benefit the Tribal community as a whole, and not individuals. Without clearly defined procedures for the authorization, issuance, and tracking of complimentaries, the potential for abuse can escalate.

Several comments prompt a discussion about the difference between complimentaries and expenditures by a Tribal government. Most Tribes have a number of businesses or enterprises operated for economic development. It is customary that at some point during the year, each of these businesses or enterprises transfer a portion of their net revenues to the Tribal government in order to fund governmental operations. Some commenters expressed concern that the Commission has placed restrictions upon the manner in which a Tribal government can spend these revenues. The Commission has not. Instead, the Congress stipulated such limitations when they enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Revenues transferred to a Tribal government from a gaming operation must be spent as specified by the Congress within the IGRA.

It is also important to note that expenditures of net gaming revenues by Tribal governments are not “complimentaries.” “Complimentaries” is a term used to define certain types of expenditures of a gaming operation, not expenditures of a Tribal government. Because expenditures of net gaming Start Printed Page 43397revenues by a Tribal government are not comps, they are therefore outside the scope of these MICS.

In response to numerous comments, the requirement that certain data be obtained for all complimentary services or items that exceed $50.00 has been modified to state that the collection of such data is not required for complimentary services or items below a “reasonable amount” to be established by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. It is the Commission's view that for some large operations in a competitive market, $100 may be a reasonable amount. For others, $20 may be more appropriate. In any case, the Commission recognizes that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority can most appropriately establish this amount.

Section 542.18 Variances

This section was restructured to provide clarity and to recognize that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, in the first instance, should determine whether the gaming operation should be granted a variance. Clearly, tribal regulators who are most familiar with a gaming operation are best equipped to make these initial determinations. The Commission would then be requested to concur with the variance. If the Commission does not agree, it must justify its objection. The new process also allows for an appeal to the full Commission. A number of commenters agreed that the changes to this section are an improvement.

Many commenters believe that the ninety (90) day time frame for Commission action in § 542.18(b) is too long. Previous experience has shown that review of a variance approval can be lengthy, particularly where the variance is somewhat complicated or involves new technology. The Commission has a shortage of staff able to review variance approvals, and such activity requires reassignment from current workload. In many cases, review may also entail travel to the gaming operation, as well as review of equivalent standards in comparable gaming jurisdictions. In response to the numerous comments, however, the Commission has shortened its response time to sixty (60) days. Further shortening of this time frame was not entertained out of fear that it may lead to lack of concurrence simply because of insufficient time for review, as opposed to concern with the variance itself.

One commenter suggested a standard whereby the Commission would notify a Tribe if its Tribal gaming regulatory authority requests a variance. The Commission believes that communication between the Tribal gaming regulatory authority and the Tribe is important, but also believes that it is an internal matter better addressed by the Tribe than through the MICS.

One commenter suggested that a gaming operation be able to appeal a Tribal gaming regulatory authority's denial of a variance request directly to the Commission. Again, the Commission believes that this is an internal issue, best addressed by the Tribe.

Several commenters stated that the Commission should not be involved in the variance process and that such decisions should be left entirely to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. While acknowledging the vital role Tribal gaming regulatory authorities play in the primary regulation of gaming, the Commission would find it problematical to review compliance of gaming operations if each were being operated under different variances. In addition to being time-consuming and an unnecessary waste of Commission resources, such a process could also lead to a situation where the Commission disagrees with the level of control provided by a variance after implementation, resulting in unnecessary expense to the gaming operation. Furthermore, the MICS are the Commission's regulation and it therefore follows that the Commission should ultimately be responsible for review of variances.

Several commenters requested that the effective date of a variance, discussed in § 542.17(e), be changed to the date approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The Commission believes that the gaming operation should comply with standards that achieve a level of control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of the standard it is to replace until such time as the Commission objects.

A commenter requested that the Commission publish approved variances. This issue was considered in developing the proposed rule and rejected because of concerns that a variance (often based on intimate knowledge of the requesting gaming operation) that works for one operation, may not be sufficient to meet the needs of another. Even so, the Commission agrees that having the ability to review approved variances may be of benefit to other Tribal gaming operations. The Commission agrees to make public on its web page a list of Tribes who have received a variance concurrence, including the particular standard of the MICS it addressed. Tribal gaming regulatory authorities may then contact each other for specific details of the variance. A variance continues to be applicable only to the operation receiving concurrence.

The Committee expressed concern that nowhere is it clearly indicated to whom requests for variances should be sent. The Commission agrees with this concern and has in the past recommended that requests for variances be clearly marked both on the request itself and on the outside of the envelope. The Committee asked that the Commission issue clear guidance about the procedures that should be followed in requesting a variance concurrence.

Section 542.20 Tier A Gaming Operations

Several commenters requested that the upper limit for Tier A be raised. Based upon earlier comments and input from the Advisory Committee, the upper limit for Tier A gaming operations has been increased from the current level of $3 million to $5 million. The Commission believes that further adjustment of the upper limit may result in an unacceptable risk to tribal assets.

Sections 542.21, 542.31, and 542.41 Drop and Count for Tier A, B, and C Gaming Operations

One commenter asked that the clause regarding computer applications, included elsewhere in the MICS, be added to drop and count. The Commission agrees and has added such language at §§ 542.21(a), 542.31(a), and 542.41(a).

While some commented favorably about no longer requiring the drop of tables that were not opened during a shift, others suggested that §§ 542.21(b)(2)(ii), 542.31(b)(2)(ii), and 542.41(b)(2)(ii) should continue to require that tables be dropped, whether opened or not. The Commission believes the new standard allows for flexibility, particularly for small gaming operations. If a Tribal gaming regulatory authority believes that all tables should be dropped, regardless of whether they were opened, they can include this higher standard in their tribal internal control standards.

Several commenters indicated that they use computerized bar codes to mark table game drop boxes. The Commission agrees that use of such technology satisfies the requirements of §§ 542.21(b)(5), 542.31(b)(5), and 542.41(b)(5).

One commenter suggested that no one other than count room personnel should be permitted to enter or exit the count room during the count. The Commission was concerned that this could be interpreted to include gaming regulators, which is not the intent of §§ 542.21(c)(2), 542.31(c)(2), and Start Printed Page 43398542.41(c)(2). Therefore, no change was made.

Several commenters were concerned about lack of independence if a dealer or cage cashier is used as a member of the count team, as permitted by §§ 542.21(c)(4), 542.31(c)(4), and 542.41(c)(4). The Commission tends to agree, but is concerned about how removing this provision would impact small gaming operations. Therefore, the ability to utilize a dealer or cage cashier was removed only from § 542.41(c)(4).

One commenter stated that the second count required by §§ 542.21(d)(4)(ii), 542.31(d)(4)(ii), and 542.41(d)(4)(ii) should be conducted of each box. The standard requires only that a second count of the entire drop be conducted, which is believed to be an appropriate minimum standard. A second commenter asked if an automated currency counting machine meets the requirements of this standard. The Commission agrees that utilization of this type of technology is appropriate, so long as the system is capable of conducting two independent counts. Yet another commenter suggested requiring a blind second count. The Commission would agree that this provides an additional layer of security, but would not require blind counts of all operations. Similar comments and changes were also made to §§ 542.21(f)(4)(ii), 542.31(f)(4)(ii), and 542.41(f)(4)(ii).

The standard at §§ 542.31(e)(3)(i) and 542.41(e)(3)(i) regarding a surveillance log has been moved to the surveillance section upon a recommendation that surveillance would be the department responsible for keeping the log.

Several commenters indicated that they use computerized bar codes to mark bill acceptor canisters. The Commission agrees that use of such technology satisfies the requirements of §§ 542.21(e)(4), 542.31(e)(5), and 542.41(e)(5).

One commenter recommended modification to §§ 542.21(f)(11), 542.31(f)(11), and 542.41(f)(11) to allow authorized personnel access to stored bill acceptor canisters in an emergency for the resolution of a problem. The Commission agrees and appropriate language was added.

One commenter suggested modification to the on-the-floor drop system standards at §§ 542.21(i)(2)(i), 542.31(i)(2)(i), and 542.41(i)(2)(i). These changes were accepted.

Sections 542.22, 542.32, and 542.42 Internal Audit for Tier A, B, and C Gaming Operations

One commenter recommended that a tiered approach should be considered for internal audit testing. The commenter suggested that while annual testing was appropriate for Tier A operations, in some instances, Tiers B and C should complete testing on a more frequent basis. While the Commission supports testing on a more frequent basis, it is believed that the approach specified in these standards is an appropriate minimum standard.

Language was also added at §§ 542.22(b)(1)(xi), 542.32(b)(1)(xi), and 542.42(b)(1)(xi), that expands the entities entitled to ask for additional internal audits to include the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or any other entity designated by the Tribe.

Sections 542.23, 542.33, and 542.43 Surveillance for Tier A, B, and C Gaming Operations

Several commenters requested clarification that Tier A gaming operations require only the “recording” of areas under surveillance, not “monitoring.” The Commission agrees. Unlike Tier B and C gaming operations, Tier A gaming operations are not required to maintain a staffed surveillance room. Therefore, “monitoring” is not required of Tier A gaming operations.

Several commenters also requested clarification of the meaning of the word “monitor.” The Commission agrees that it should be read as the “ability to monitor.” Surveillance personnel must continuously prioritize their activities as events unfold within the operation. To require “continuous monitoring” of one area or of one event may in fact divert attention from more pressing matters. The Commission does not expect continuous monitoring, only that surveillance personnel be able to monitor the particular area or event in the manner specified.

One commenter indicated concern with the camera coverage required by §§ 542.23(m), 542.33(p), and 542.43(q). The commenter believes that if camera coverage is set so that card values and suits can be clearly identified (as required by §§ 542.23(m)(1)(i), 542.33(p)(1)(i), and 542.43(q)(1)(i)), it may not be possible to also maintain an overall view of the entire table (as required by §§ 542.23(m)(1)(ii)), 542.33(p)(1)(ii)), and 542.43(q)(1)(ii)). These sections are not meant to specify the number or types of cameras that should be utilized. While several commenters suggested that the Commission should set a specific number and type of camera required for each standard, the Commission believes that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority and gaming operation are better suited to make this determination. As such, these sections are meant only to specify the required areas of coverage. To help alleviate any confusion, the beginning of the section was changed by deleting the word “each.” Similar changes were also made to other comparable sections of the MICS.

Some commenters requested clarification of the meaning of “base payout amount” as used in §§ 542.23(n)(2) and (3), 542.33(q)(2) and (3), and 542.43(r)(2) and (3). The base payout amount is the jackpot reset amount. Clarifying language has been added to §§ 542.23(n)(2), 542.33(q)(2), and 542.43(r)(2). By way of example, an in-house progressive machine offering a base payout (jackpot reset) amount of $90,000 that increases to $200,000, is not required to be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera under this section because the base payout amount of $90,000 is less than the $100,000 threshold.

One commenter questioned why the surveillance standards are less stringent for wide-area progressive machines, in that the base payout amount requiring dedicated camera coverage is set at $1.5 million. (§§ 542.23(n)(3), 542.33(q)(3), 542.43(r)(3)) The Commission believes that because these games are monitored by independent vendors, primary payouts are made by independent vendors, and they utilize an on-line monitoring system, the threat to tribal gaming operations' assets are reduced and therefore, the surveillance requirements should be less stringent.

Several commenters objected to the standard contained within §§ 542.23(p)(3), 542.33(v)(3), and 542.43(w)(3) requiring that an original surveillance tape or digital recording be provided to the Commission. The standard was changed to allow Commission access to a duly authenticated copy instead of an original.

Section 542.30 Tier B Gaming Operations

Several commenters requested that the upper limit for Tier B be raised. Based upon earlier comments and input from the Advisory Committee, the upper limit for Tier B gaming operations has been increased from the current level of $10 million to $15 million. The Commission believes that further adjustment of the upper limit may result in an unacceptable risk to tribal assets.

Section 542.40 Tier C Gaming Operations

Several commenters requested that the threshold at which gaming operations become Tier C be raised. Start Printed Page 43399Based upon earlier comments and input from the Advisory Committee, the level at which gaming operations become Tier C has been increased from $10 million to $15 million. The Commission believes that further adjustment may result in an unacceptable risk to tribal assets.

One commenter suggested requiring that all Tier C gaming operations install on-line accounting systems. While the Commission believes that on-line systems provide a higher level of protection of assets, we do not agree that, as a minimum standard, this system should be required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

On April 23, 2002, the Commission published for public comment its certification that the proposed regulation would not have a significant impact on small entities. In response the Commission received nineteen comments. A majority of the comments received were similar, stating that the Commission had violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by failing to prepare an analysis. The Commission disagrees. The Regulatory Flexibility Act allows an agency to certify that a proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities subject to the rule as long as the agency provides an explanation of the factual basis for the certification. 5 U.S.C. § 605(b). The Commission provided this basis in its notice dated April 23, 2002, and again certifies in this final rule.

A majority of the commenters also disagree with the Commission's determination that it possesses the statutory authority to promulgate this regulation. That issue is considered and addressed elsewhere in this preamble.

One commenter objected to the Commission's definition of “small entity” under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Commission, in determining that gaming operations with gross revenues under $5 million may qualify as “small businesses” and, therefore as “small entities,” relied, as does the Regulatory Flexibility Act, on the definitions contained with the Small Business Act, and associated regulations. 15 U.S.C. 632; 13 CFR 121.201. Therefore, the Commission disagrees with this comment.

The same commenter disagreed with the Commission's certification that this regulation does not impose significant economic costs to affected Indian gaming operations. The Commission disagrees. As stated in its certification, internal controls are requirements that are mandated by the nature of gaming operations. In the absence of federal regulations, Tribes would continue to incur many, if not all, of the same regulatory expenses. The same commenter suggested that the Commission should consider the effect of all of the Commission's regulatory activities in determining economic impact. The Commission is aware of its obligations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and will continue to comply with the Act in fitting regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of entities subject to its regulations. For example, as stated in the request for public comment dated April 23, 2002, the Commission has tiered this regulation to take into account the needs of large and small gaming operations. The Commission's advisory committee consisted of representatives from both large and small gaming operations. The Commission also requested and responded to public comments in the form of written comments and held a public hearing.

One commenter stated that the Commission's proposal to exempt gaming operations grossing under $1 million from compliance with these regulations was commendable, but asked that the Commission consider exempting all gaming operations grossing less than $5 million from regulatory compliance. The Commission believes that such an exemption would jeopardize the integrity of Indian gaming as a whole; and exempting such a large group of gaming operations from federal oversight would be a shirking of the responsibilities of the Commission. The Commission does, however, realize that the costs of compliance with minimum internal control standards should reflect the risk of loss to Indian gaming operations. Because of this, the Commission has reduced the requirements of Tier A gaming facilities. In addition, tribal gaming regulatory authorities may request a variance from these requirements if adequate alternative controls are put in place. The Commission believes that the flexibility of the new regulation adequately addresses the concerns of smaller gaming operations, while fulfilling its statutory obligation of the federal oversight of Indian gaming.

Future Revisions to the MICS

Indian gaming, like commercial gaming, is an ever-changing industry. As new technology emerges and the industry itself continues to mature, this regulation will likewise require evolution. The MICS are a technical regulation greatly impacting all Tribal gaming operations. As such, input from those most affected is critical to developing a mutually beneficial regulatory framework. The Commission firmly believes that any future changes to this regulation be made in a fully consultative process, similar to the one utilized in developing this final rule.

Regulatory Matters

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Commission certifies that the Minimum Internal Control Standards contained within this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on small entities, 5 U.S.C. 605(b). The factual basis for this certification is as follows:

Of the 315 Indian gaming operations across the country, approximately 100 of the operations have gross revenues of less than $5 million. Of these, approximately 50 operations have gross revenues of under $1 million. Since the proposed revisions will not apply to gaming operations with gross revenues under $1 million, only 50 small operations may be affected. While this is a substantial number, the Commission believes that the regulations will not have a significant economic impact on these operations for several reasons. First, internal controls are essential to gaming operations in order to protect assets. The costs involved in implementing these controls are part of the regular business costs incurred by such an operation. The Commission also believes that many Indian gaming operations have already implemented internal control standards that are more stringent than those contained in these regulations.

Under the proposed revisions, small gaming operations grossing under $1 million are exempted from MICS compliance. Tier A facilities (those with gross revenues between $1 and $5 million) are subject to the yearly requirement that independent certified public accountant testing occur. The purpose of this testing is to measure the gaming operation's compliance with the tribe's internal control standards. The cost of compliance with this requirement for a small gaming operation is estimated at between $3,000 and $5,000. The cost of this report is minimal and does not create a significant economic effect on gaming operations. What little impact exists is further offset because other regulations require a yearly independent financial audit that can be conducted at the same time. For these reasons, the Commission has concluded that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on those small entities subject to the rule. Start Printed Page 43400

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, state or local government agencies or geographic regions, and does not have a significant adverse effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S. based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Commission is an independent regulatory agency and, as such, is not subject to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Even so, the Commission has determined that this final rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector, of more than $100 million per year. Thus, it is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

The Commission has, however, determined that this final rule may have a unique effect on tribal governments (this rule applies exclusively to tribal governments) whenever they undertake the ownership, operation, regulation, or licensing of gaming operations on Indian lands as defined by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Commission has therefore undertaken the following actions: on two occasions, made a request for public comment on changes to the regulation; formed a Tribal Advisory Committee to assist in writing the new regulation; held discussions with Tribal leaders and Tribal associations about desired changes to the regulation; prepared guidance material and model documents; held a public hearing; and continues to provide technical assistance.

Between May and November 2001, the Commission and the Tribal Advisory Committee met six times to develop a regulatory proposal. In selecting Committee members, consideration was placed on the applicant's experience in this area, as well as the size of the Tribe the nominee represented, geographic location of the Tribe's gaming operation, and the size and type of gaming conducted. The Commission believes it assembled a diverse Committee representative of Indian gaming interests.

Since beginning formulation of this final rule, the Commission spoke at several tribal association meetings. The Commission will develop guidance materials that will include guidelines for CPA firms who must audit gaming operations to determine compliance with tribal internal control standards. The Commission also held a public hearing on the proposed regulation prior to development and publication of a final rule. The Commission and the Tribal Advisory Committee met one last time to discuss the public comments received as a result of publication of the proposed rule and to develop a recommendation regarding the final rule. The Commission also plans on continuing its policy of providing technical assistance, through its field offices, to Tribes to assist in complying with the MICS.

Takings

In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the Commission has determined that this rule does not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required.

Civil Justice Reform

In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of General Counsel has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule requires an information collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., as did the regulation it replaces. There is no change to the paperwork requirements created by this amendment. The Commission's OMB Control number for this regulation is 3141-0009.

National Environmental Policy Act

The Commission has determined that this final rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and that no detailed statement is required pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 25 CFR Part 542

End List of Subjects

For reasons stated in the preamble, the National Indian Gaming Commission revises 25 CFR part 542 to read as follows:

Start Part

PART 542—MINIMUM INTERNAL CONTROL STANDARDS

542.1
What does this part cover?
542.2
What are the definitions for this part?
542.3
How do I comply with this part?
542.4
How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards establish in a Tribal-State compact?
542.5
How do these regulations affect state jurisdiction?
542.6
Does this part apply to small and charitable gaming operations?
542.7
What are the minimum internal control standards for bingo?
542.8
What are the minimum internal control standards for pull tabs?
542.9
What are the minimum internal control standards for card games?
542.10
What are the minimum internal control standards for keno?
542.11
What are the minimum internal control standards for pari-mutuel wagering?
542.12
What are the minimum internal control standards for table games?
542.13
What are the minimum internal control standards for gaming machines?
542.14
What are the minimum internal control standards for the cage?
542.15
What are the minimum internal control standards for credit?
542.16
What are the minimum internal control standards for information technology?
542.17
What are the minimum internal control standards for complimentary services or items?
542.18
How does a gaming operation apply for a variance from the standards of this part?
542.20
What is a Tier A gaming operation?
542.21
What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier A gaming operations?
542.22
What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier A gaming operations?
542.23
What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for Tier A gaming operations?
542.30
What is a Tier B gaming operation?
542.31
What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier B gaming operations?
542.32
What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier B gaming operations?
542.33
What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for Tier B gaming operations?
542.40
What is a Tier C gaming operation?
542.41
What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier C gaming operations?
542.42
What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier C gaming operations?
542.43
What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for a Tier C gaming operation?
Start Authority

Authority: 25 U.S.C. 2702(c), 2706(b)(10).

End Authority
Start Printed Page 43401
What does this part cover?

This part establishes the minimum internal control standards for gaming operations on Indian land.

What are the definitions for this part?

The definitions in this section shall apply to all sections of this part unless otherwise noted.

Account access card means an instrument used to access customer accounts for wagering at a gaming machine. Account access cards are used in connection with a computerized account database.

Accountability means all items of cash, chips, coins, tokens, plaques, receivables, and customer deposits constituting the total amount for which the bankroll custodian is responsible at a given time.

Accumulated credit payout means credit earned in a gaming machine that is paid to a customer manually in lieu of a machine payout.

Actual hold percentage means the percentage calculated by dividing the win by the drop or coin-in (number of credits wagered). Can be calculated for individual tables or gaming machines, type of table games, or gaming machines on a per day or cumulative basis.

Ante means a player's initial wager or predetermined contribution to the pot before the dealing of the first hand.

Betting station means the area designated in a pari-mutuel area that accepts wagers and pays winning bets.

Betting ticket means a printed, serially numbered form used to record the event upon which a wager is made, the amount and date of the wager, and sometimes the line or spread (odds).

Bill acceptor means the device that accepts and reads cash by denomination in order to accurately register customer credits.

Bill acceptor canister means the box attached to the bill acceptor used to contain cash received by bill acceptors.

Bill acceptor canister release key means the key used to release the bill acceptor canister from the bill acceptor device.

Bill acceptor canister storage rack key means the key used to access the storage rack where bill acceptor canisters are secured.

Bill acceptor drop means cash contained in bill acceptor canisters.

Bill-in meter means a meter included on a gaming machine accepting cash that tracks the number of bills put in the machine.

Boxperson means the first-level supervisor who is responsible for directly participating in and supervising the operation and conduct of a craps game.

Breakage means the difference between actual bet amounts paid out by a racetrack to bettors and amounts won due to bet payments being rounded up or down. For example, a winning bet that should pay $4.25 may be actually paid at $4.20 due to rounding.

Cage means a secure work area within the gaming operation for cashiers and a storage area for the gaming operation bankroll.

Cage accountability form means an itemized list of the components that make up the cage accountability.

Cage credit means advances in the form of cash or gaming chips made to customers at the cage. Documented by the players signing an IOU or a marker similar to a counter check.

Cage marker form means a document, signed by the customer, evidencing an extension of credit at the cage to the customer by the gaming operation.

Calibration module means the section of a weigh scale used to set the scale to a specific amount or number of coins to be counted.

Call bets means a wager made without cash or chips, reserved for a known customer and includes marked bets (which are supplemental bets made during a hand of play). For the purpose of settling a call bet, a hand of play in craps is defined as a natural winner (e.g., seven or eleven on the come-out roll), a natural loser (e.g., a two, three or twelve on the come-out roll), a seven-out, or the player making his point, whichever comes first.

Card game means a game in which the gaming operation is not party to wagers and from which the gaming operation receives compensation in the form of a rake, a time buy-in, or other fee or payment from a player for the privilege of playing.

Card room bank means the operating fund assigned to the card room or main card room bank.

Cash-out ticket means an instrument of value generated by a gaming machine representing a cash amount owed to a customer at a specific gaming machine. This instrument may be wagered at other machines by depositing the cash-out ticket in the machine bill acceptor.

Chips means cash substitutes, in various denominations, issued by a gaming operation and used for wagering.

Coin-in meter means the meter that displays the total amount wagered in a gaming machine that includes coins-in and credits played.

Coin meter count machine means a device used in a coin room to count coin.

Coin room means an area where coins and tokens are stored.

Coin room inventory means coins and tokens stored in the coin room that are generally used for gaming machine department operation.

Commission means the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Complimentary means a service or item provided at no cost, or at a reduced cost, to a customer.

Count means the total funds counted for a particular game, gaming machine, shift, or other period.

Count room means a room where the coin and cash drop from gaming machines, table games, or other games are transported to and counted.

Count team means personnel that perform either the count of the gaming machine drop and/or the table game drop.

Counter check means a form provided by the gaming operation for the customer to use in lieu of a personal check.

Credit means the right granted by a gaming operation to a customer to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

Credit limit means the maximum dollar amount of credit assigned to a customer by the gaming operation.

Credit slip means a form used to record either:

(1) The return of chips from a gaming table to the cage; or

(2) The transfer of IOUs, markers, or negotiable checks from a gaming table to a cage or bankroll.

Customer deposits means the amounts placed with a cage cashier by customers for the customers' use at a future time.

Deal means a specific pull tab game that has a specific serial number associated with each game.

Dealer means an employee who operates a game, individually or as a part of a crew, administering house rules and making payoffs.

Dedicated camera means a video camera required to continuously record a specific activity.

Deskman means a person who authorizes payment of winning tickets and verifies payouts for keno games.

Draw ticket means a blank keno ticket whose numbers are punched out when balls are drawn for the game. Used to verify winning tickets.

Drop (for gaming machines) means the total amount of cash, cash-out tickets, coupons, coins, and tokens removed from drop buckets and/or bill acceptor canisters.

Drop (for table games) means the total amount of cash, chips, and tokens removed from drop boxes, plus the amount of credit issued at the tables.

Drop box means a locked container affixed to the gaming table into which Start Printed Page 43402the drop is placed. The game type, table number, and shift are indicated on the box.

Drop box contents keys means the key used to open drop boxes.

Drop box release keys means the key used to release drop boxes from tables.

Drop box storage rack keys means the key used to access the storage rack where drop boxes are secured.

Drop bucket means a container located in the drop cabinet (or in a secured portion of the gaming machine in coinless/cashless configurations) for the purpose of collecting coins, tokens, cash-out tickets, and coupons from the gaming machine.

Drop cabinet means the wooden or metal base of the gaming machine that contains the gaming machine drop bucket.

Earned and unearned take means race bets taken on present and future race events. Earned take means bets received on current or present events. Unearned take means bets taken on future race events.

EPROM means erasable programmable read-only memory or other equivalent game software media.

Fill means a transaction whereby a supply of chips, coins, or tokens is transferred from a bankroll to a table game or gaming machine.

Fill slip means a document evidencing a fill.

Flare means the information sheet provided by the manufacturer that sets forth the rules of a particular pull tab game and that is associated with a specific deal of pull tabs. The flare shall contain the following information:

(1) Name of the game;

(2) Manufacturer name or manufacturer's logo;

(3) Ticket count; and

(4) Prize structure, which shall include the number of winning pull tabs by denomination, with their respective winning symbols, numbers, or both.

Future wagers means bets on races to be run in the future (e.g., Kentucky Derby).

Game server means an electronic selection device, utilizing a random number generator.

Gaming machine means an electronic or electromechanical machine which contains a microprocessor with random number generator capability which allows a player to play games of chance, some of which may be affected by skill, which machine is activated by the insertion of a coin, token or cash, or by the use of a credit, and which awards game credits, cash, tokens, or replays, or a written statement of the player's accumulated credits, which written statements be redeemable for cash.

Gaming machine analysis report means a report prepared that compares theoretical to actual hold by a gaming machine on a monthly or other periodic basis.

Gaming machine booths and change banks means a booth or small cage in the gaming machine area used to provide change to players, store change aprons and extra coin, and account for jackpot and other payouts.

Gaming machine count means the total amount of coins, tokens, and cash removed from a gaming machine. The amount counted is entered on the Gaming Machine Count Sheet and is considered the drop. Also, the procedure of counting the coins, tokens, and cash or the process of verifying gaming machine coin and token inventory.

Gaming machine pay table means the reel strip combinations illustrated on the face of the gaming machine that can identify payouts of designated coin amounts.

Gaming operation accounts receivable (for gaming operation credit) means credit extended to gaming operation customers in the form of markers, returned checks, or other credit instruments that have not been repaid.

Gross gaming revenue means annual total amount of cash wagered on class II and class III games and admission fees (including table or card fees), less any amounts paid out as prizes or paid for prizes awarded.

Hold means the relationship of win to coin-in for gaming machines and win to drop for table games.

Hub means the person or entity that is licensed to provide the operator of a pari-mutuel wagering operation information related to horse racing that is used to determine winners of races or payoffs on wagers accepted by the pari-mutuel wagering operation.

Internal audit means persons who perform an audit function of a gaming operation that are independent of the department subject to audit. Independence is obtained through the organizational reporting relationship, as the internal audit department shall not report to management of the gaming operation. Internal audit activities should be conducted in a manner that permits objective evaluation of areas examined. Internal audit personnel may provide audit coverage to more than one operation within a Tribe's gaming operation holdings.

Issue slip means a copy of a credit instrument that is retained for numerical sequence control purposes.

Jackpot payout means the portion of a jackpot paid by gaming machine personnel. The amount is usually determined as the difference between the total posted jackpot amount and the coins paid out by the machine. May also be the total amount of the jackpot.

Lammer button means a type of chip that is placed on a gaming table to indicate that the amount of chips designated thereon has been given to the customer for wagering on credit before completion of the credit instrument. Lammer button may also mean a type of chip used to evidence transfers between table banks and card room banks.

Linked electronic game means any game linked to two (2) or more gaming operations that are physically separate and not regulated by the same Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

Main card room bank means a fund of cash, coin, and chips used primarily for poker and pan card game areas. Used to make even cash transfers between various games as needed. May be used similarly in other areas of the gaming operation.

Marker means a document, signed by the customer, evidencing an extension of credit to him by the gaming operation.

Marker credit play means that players are allowed to purchase chips using credit in the form of a marker.

Marker inventory form means a form maintained at table games or in the gaming operation pit that are used to track marker inventories at the individual table or pit.

Marker transfer form means a form used to document transfers of markers from the pit to the cage.

Master credit record means a form to record the date, time, shift, game, table, amount of credit given, and the signatures or initials of the persons extending the credit.

Master game program number means the game program number listed on a gaming machine EPROM.

Master game sheet means a form used to record, by shift and day, each table game's winnings and losses. This form reflects the opening and closing table inventories, the fills and credits, and the drop and win.

Mechanical coin counter means a device used to count coins that may be used in addition to or in lieu of a coin weigh scale.

Meter means an electronic (soft) or mechanical (hard) apparatus in a gaming machine. May record the number of coins wagered, the number of coins dropped, the number of times the handle was pulled, or the number of coins paid out to winning players.

MICS means minimum internal control standards in this part 542.

Motion activated dedicated camera means a video camera that, upon its Start Printed Page 43403detection of activity or motion in a specific area, begins to record the activity or area.

Multi-game machine means a gaming machine that includes more than one type of game option.

Multi-race ticket means a keno ticket that is played in multiple games.

On-line gaming machine monitoring system means a system used by a gaming operation to monitor gaming machine meter readings and/or other activities on an on-line basis.

Order for credit means a form that is used to request the transfer of chips or markers from a table to the cage. The order precedes the actual transfer transaction that is documented on a credit slip.

Outstation means areas other than the main keno area where bets may be placed and tickets paid.

Par percentage means the percentage of each dollar wagered that the house wins (i.e., gaming operation advantage).

Par sheet means a specification sheet for a gaming machine that provides machine hold percentage, model number, hit frequency, reel combination, number of reels, number of coins that can be accepted, and reel strip listing.

Pari-mutuel wagering means a system of wagering on horse races, jai-alai, greyhound, and harness racing, where the winners divide the total amount wagered, net of commissions and operating expenses, proportionate to the individual amount wagered.

Payment slip means that part of a marker form on which customer payments are recorded.

Payout means a transaction associated with a winning event.

PIN means the personal identification number used to access a player's account.

Pit podium means a stand located in the middle of the tables used by gaming operation supervisory personnel as a workspace and a record storage area.

Pit supervisor means the employee who supervises all games in a pit.

Player tracking system means a system typically used in gaming machine departments that can record the gaming machine play of individual customers.

Post time means the time when a pari-mutuel track stops accepting bets in accordance with rules and regulations of the applicable jurisdiction.

Primary and secondary jackpots means promotional pools offered at certain card games that can be won in addition to the primary pot.

Progressive gaming machine means a gaming machine, with a payoff indicator, in which the payoff increases as it is played (i.e., deferred payout). The payoff amount is accumulated, displayed on a machine, and will remain until a player lines up the jackpot symbols that result in the progressive amount being paid.

Progressive jackpot means deferred payout from a progressive gaming machine.

Progressive table game means table games that offer progressive jackpots.

Promotional payout means merchandise or awards given to players by the gaming operation based on a wagering activity.

Promotional progressive pots and/or pools means funds contributed to a table game by and for the benefit of players. Funds are distributed to players based on a predetermined event.

Rabbit ears means a device, generally V-shaped, that holds the numbered balls selected during a keno or bingo game so that the numbers are visible to players and employees.

Rake means a commission charged by the house for maintaining or dealing a game such as poker.

Rake circle means the area of a table where rake is placed.

Random number generator means a device that generates numbers in the absence of a pattern. May be used to determine numbers selected in various games such as keno and bingo. Also commonly used in gaming machines to generate game outcome.

Reel symbols means symbols listed on reel strips of gaming machines.

Rim credit means extensions of credit that are not evidenced by the immediate preparation of a marker and does not include call bets.

Runner means a gaming employee who transports chips/cash to or from a gaming table and a cashier.

SAM means a screen-automated machine used to accept pari-mutuel wagers. SAM's also pay winning tickets in the form of a voucher, which is redeemable for cash.

Shift means an eight-hour period, unless otherwise approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours.

Shill means an employee financed by the house and acting as a player for the purpose of starting or maintaining a sufficient number of players in a game.

Short pay means a payoff from a gaming machine that is less than the listed amount.

Soft count means the count of the contents in a drop box or a bill acceptor canister.

Sufficient clarity means use of monitoring and recording at a minimum of twenty (20) frames per second. Multiplexer tape recordings are insufficient to satisfy the requirement of sufficient clarity.

Surveillance room means a secure location(s) in a gaming operation used primarily for casino surveillance.

Surveillance system means a system of video cameras, monitors, recorders, video printers, switches, selectors, and other ancillary equipment used for casino surveillance.

Table games means games that are banked by the house or a pool whereby the house or the pool pays all winning bets and collects from all losing bets.

Table inventory means the total coins, chips, and markers at a table.

Table inventory form means the form used by gaming operation supervisory personnel to document the inventory of chips, coins, and tokens on a table at the beginning and ending of a shift.

Table tray means the container located on gaming tables where chips, coins, or cash are stored that are used in the game.

Take means the same as earned and unearned take.

Theoretical hold means the intended hold percentage or win of an individual gaming machine as computed by reference to its payout schedule and reel strip settings or EPROM.

Theoretical hold worksheet means a worksheet provided by the manufacturer for all gaming machines that indicate the theoretical percentages that the gaming machine should hold based on adequate levels of coin-in. The worksheet also indicates the reel strip settings, number of credits that may be played, the payout schedule, the number of reels and other information descriptive of the particular type of gaming machine.

Tier A means gaming operations with annual gross gaming revenues of more than $1 million but not more than $5 million.

Tier B means gaming operations with annual gross gaming revenues of more than $5 million but not more than $15 million.

Tier C means gaming operations with annual gross gaming revenues of more than $15 million.

Tokens means a coin-like cash substitute, in various denominations, used for gambling transactions.

Tribal gaming regulatory authority means the tribally designated entity responsible for gaming regulation.

Vault means a secure area within the gaming operation where tokens, checks, cash, coins, and chips are stored.

Weigh/count means the value of coins and tokens counted by a weigh machine.

Weigh scale calibration module means the device used to adjust a coin weigh scale. Start Printed Page 43404

Weigh scale interface means a communication device between the weigh scale used to calculate the amount of funds included in drop buckets and the computer system used to record the weigh data.

Weigh tape means the tape where weighed coin is recorded.

Wide area progressive gaming machine means a progressive gaming machine that is linked to machines in other operations and play on the machines affect the progressive amount. As wagers are placed, the progressive meters on all of the linked machines increase.

Win means the net win resulting from all gaming activities. Net win results from deducting all gaming losses from all wins prior to considering associated operating expenses.

Win-to-write hold percentage means win divided by write to determine hold percentage.

Wrap means the method of storing coins after the count process has been completed, including, but not limited to, wrapping, racking, or bagging. May also refer to the total amount or value of the counted and stored coins.

Write means the total amount wagered in keno, bingo, pull tabs, and pari-mutuel operations.

Writer means an employee who writes keno, bingo, pull tabs, or pari-mutuel tickets. A keno writer usually also makes payouts.

How do I comply with this part?

(a) Compliance based upon tier. (1) Tier A gaming operations must comply with §§ 542.1 through 542.18, and §§ 542.20 through 542.23.

(2) Tier B gaming operations must comply with §§ 542.1 through 542.18, and §§ 542.30 through 542.33.

(3) Tier C gaming operations must comply with §§ 542.1 through 542.18, and §§ 542.40 through 542.43.

(b) Determination of tier. (1) The determination of tier level shall be made based upon the annual gross gaming revenues indicated within the gaming operation's audited financial statements. Gaming operations moving from one tier to another shall have nine (9) months from the date of the independent certified public accountant's audit report to achieve compliance with the requirements of the new tier.

(2) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority may extend the deadline by an additional six (6) months if written notice is provided to the Commission no later than two weeks before the expiration of the nine (9) month period.

(c) Tribal internal control standards. Within six (6) months of June 27, 2002, each Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall, in accordance with the Tribal gaming ordinance, establish and implement tribal internal control standards that shall:

(1) Provide a level of control that equals or exceeds those set forth in this part;

(2) Contain standards for currency transaction reporting that comply with 31 CFR part 103;

(3) Establish standards for games that are not addressed in this part; and

(4) Establish a deadline, which shall not exceed nine (9) months from June 27, 2002, by which a gaming operation must come into compliance with the tribal internal control standards. However, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority may extend the deadline by an additional six (6) months if written notice is provided to the Commission no later than two weeks before the expiration of the nine (9) month period.

(d) Gaming operations. Each gaming operation shall develop and implement an internal control system that, at a minimum, complies with the tribal internal control standards.

(1) Existing gaming operations. All gaming operations that are operating on or before June 27, 2002, shall comply with this part within the time requirements established in paragraph (c) of this section. In the interim, such operations shall continue to comply with existing tribal internal control standards.

(2) New gaming operations. All gaming operations that commence operations after August 26, 2002, shall comply with this part before commencement of operations.

(e) Submission to Commission. Tribal regulations promulgated pursuant to this part shall not be required to be submitted to the Commission pursuant to 25 CFR 522.3(b).

(f) CPA testing. (1) An independent certified public accountant (CPA) shall be engaged to perform procedures to verify, on a test basis, that the gaming operation is in material compliance with the tribal internal control standards or a tribally approved variance that has received Commission concurrence. The procedures may be performed in conjunction with the annual audit. The CPA shall report its findings to the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, and management. The Tribe shall submit a copy of the report to the Commission within 120 days of the gaming operation's fiscal year end.

(2) CPA Guidelines. In connection with the CPA testing pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the Commission shall develop recommended CPA Guidelines available upon request.

(g) Enforcement of Commission Minimum Internal Control Standards. (1) Each Tribal gaming regulatory authority is required to establish and implement internal control standards pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. Each gaming operation is then required, pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, to develop and implement an internal control system that complies with the Tribal internal control standards. Failure to do so may subject the Tribal operator of the gaming operation, and/or the management contractor, to penalties under 25 U.S.C. 2713.

(2) Recognizing that Tribes are the primary regulator of their gaming operation(s), enforcement action by the Commission will not be initiated under this part without first informing the Tribe and Tribal gaming regulatory authority of deficiencies in the internal controls of its gaming operation and allowing a reasonable period of time to address such deficiencies. Such prior notice and opportunity for corrective action is not required where the threat to the integrity of the gaming operation is immediate and severe.

How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards established in a Tribal-State compact?

(a) If there is a direct conflict between an internal control standard established in a Tribal-State compact and a standard or requirement set forth in this part, then the internal control standard established in a Tribal-State compact shall prevail.

(b) If an internal control standard in a Tribal-State compact provides a level of control that equals or exceeds the level of control under an internal control standard or requirement set forth in this part, then the Tribal-State compact standard shall prevail.

(c) If an internal control standard or a requirement set forth in this part provides a level of control that exceeds the level of control under an internal control standard established in a Tribal-State compact, then the internal control standard or requirement set forth in this part shall prevail.

How do these regulations affect state jurisdiction?

Nothing in this part shall be construed to grant to a state jurisdiction in class II gaming or extend a state's jurisdiction in class III gaming.

Start Printed Page 43405
Does this part apply to small and charitable gaming operations?

(a) Small gaming operations. This part shall not apply to small gaming operations provided that:

(1) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority permits the operation to be exempt from this part;

(2) The annual gross gaming revenue of the operation does not exceed $1 million; and

(3) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority develops and the operation complies with alternate procedures that:

(i) Protect the integrity of games offered; and

(ii) Safeguard the assets used in connection with the operation.

(b) Charitable gaming operations. This part shall not apply to charitable gaming operations provided that:

(1) All proceeds are for the benefit of a charitable organization;

(2) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority permits the charitable organization to be exempt from this part;

(3) The charitable gaming operation is operated wholly by the charitable organization's employees or volunteers;

(4) The annual gross gaming revenue of the charitable gaming operation does not exceed $100,000;

(i) Where the annual gross gaming revenues of the charitable gaming operation exceed $100,000, but are less than $1 million, paragraph (a) of this section shall also apply; and

(ii) [Reserved]

(5) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority develops and the charitable gaming operation complies with alternate procedures that:

(i) Protect the integrity of the games offered; and

(ii) Safeguard the assets used in connection with the gaming operation.

(c) Independent operators. Nothing in this section shall exempt gaming operations conducted by independent operators for the benefit of a charitable organization.

What are the minimum internal control standards for bingo?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Game play standards. (1) The functions of seller and payout verifier shall be segregated. Employees who sell cards on the floor shall not verify payouts with cards in their possession. Floor clerks who sell cards on the floor are permitted to announce the serial numbers of winning cards.

(2) All sales of bingo cards shall be documented by recording at least the following:

(i) Date;

(ii) Shift (if applicable);

(iii) Session (if applicable);

(iv) Dollar amount;

(v) Signature, initials, or identification number of at least one seller (if manually documented); and

(vi) Signature, initials, or identification number of a person independent of the seller who has randomly verified the card sales (this requirement is not applicable to locations with $1 million or less in annual write).

(3) The total win and write shall be computed and recorded by shift (or session, if applicable).

(4) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that ensure the correct calling of numbers selected in the bingo game.

(5) Each ball shall be shown to a camera immediately before it is called so that it is individually displayed to all customers. For speed bingo games not verified by camera equipment, each ball drawn shall be verified by a person independent of the bingo caller responsible for calling the speed bingo game.

(6) For all coverall games and other games offering a payout of $1,200 or more, as the balls are called the numbers shall be immediately recorded by the caller and maintained for a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours.

(7) Controls shall be present to assure that the numbered balls are placed back into the selection device prior to calling the next game.

(8) The authenticity of each payout shall be verified by at least two persons. A computerized card verifying system may function as the second person verifying the payout if the card with the winning numbers is displayed on a reader board.

(9) Payouts in excess of $1,200 shall require written approval, by personnel independent of the transaction, that the bingo card has been examined and verified with the bingo card record to ensure that the ticket has not been altered.

(10) Total payout shall be computed and recorded by shift or session, if applicable.

(c) Promotional payouts or awards. (1) If the gaming operation offers promotional payouts or awards, the payout form/documentation shall include the following information:

(i) Date and time;

(ii) Dollar amount of payout or description of personal property (e.g., jacket, toaster, car, etc.), including fair market value;

(iii) Type of promotion; and

(iv) Signature of at least one employee authorizing and completing the transaction.

(2) [Reserved]

(d) Accountability form. (1) All funds used to operate the bingo department shall be recorded on an accountability form.

(2) All funds used to operate the bingo department shall be counted independently by at least two persons and reconciled to the recorded amounts at the end of each shift or session.

(e) Bingo equipment. (1) Access to controlled bingo equipment (e.g., blower, balls in play, and back-up balls) shall be restricted to authorized persons.

(2) The procedures established by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall include standards relating to the inspection of new bingo balls put into play as well as for those in use.

(3) Bingo equipment shall be maintained and checked for accuracy on a periodic basis.

(4) The bingo card inventory shall be controlled so as to assure the integrity of the cards being used as follows:

(i) Purchased paper shall be inventoried and secured by a person or persons independent of the bingo sales;

(ii) The issue of paper to the cashiers shall be documented and signed for by the person responsible for inventory control and a cashier. The document log shall include the series number of the bingo paper;

(iii) A copy of the bingo paper control log shall be given to the bingo ball caller for purposes of determining if the winner purchased the paper that was issued for sale that day (electronic verification satisfies this standard);

(iv) At the end of each month, a person or persons independent of bingo sales and inventory control shall verify the accuracy of the ending balance in the bingo paper control by reconciling the paper on-hand;

(v) A monthly comparison for reasonableness shall be made of the amount of paper sold from the bingo paper control log to the amount of revenue recognized.

(f) Standards for statistical reports. (1) Records shall be maintained, which include win, write (card sales), and a win-to-write hold percentage, for:

(i) Each shift or each session; Start Printed Page 43406

(ii) Each day;

(iii) Month-to-date; and

(iv) Year-to-date or fiscal year-to-date.

(2) A manager independent of the bingo department shall review bingo statistical information on at least a monthly basis and investigate any large or unusual statistical fluctuations.

(3) Investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(g) Electronic equipment. (1) If the gaming operation utilizes electronic equipment in connection with the play of bingo, then the following standards shall also apply.

(i) If the electronic equipment contains a bill acceptor, then § 542.21(d) and (e), § 542.31(d) and (e), or § 542.41(d) and (e) (as applicable) shall apply.

(ii) If the electronic equipment uses a bar code or microchip reader, the reader shall be tested periodically by a person or persons independent of the bingo department to determine that it is correctly reading the bar code or the microchip.

(iii) If the electronic equipment returns a voucher or a payment slip to the player, then § 542.13(n) (as applicable) shall apply.

(2) [Reserved]

(h) Standards for linked electronic games. Management shall ensure that all agreements/contracts entered into after June 27, 2002 to provide linked electronic games shall contain language requiring the vendor to comply with the standards in this section applicable to the goods or services the vendor is providing.

(i) Host requirements/game information (for linked electronic games). (1) Providers of any linked electronic game(s) shall maintain complete records of game data for a period of one (1) year from the date the games are played (or a time frame established by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority). This data may be kept in an archived manner, provided the information can be produced within twenty-four (24) hours upon request. In any event, game data for the preceding seventy-two (72) hours shall be immediately accessible.

(2) Data required to be maintained for each game played includes:

(i) Date and time game start and game end;

(ii) Sales information by location;

(iii) Cash distribution by location;

(iv) Refund totals by location;

(v) Cards-in-play count by location;

(vi) Identification number of winning card(s);

(vii) Ordered list of bingo balls drawn; and

(viii) Prize amounts at start and end of game.

(j) Host requirements/sales information (for linked electronic games). (1) Providers of any linked electronic game(s) shall maintain complete records of sales data for a period of one (1) year from the date the games are played (or a time frame established by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority). This data may be kept in an archived manner, provided the information can be produced within twenty-four (24) hours upon request. In any event, sales data for the preceding ten (10) days shall be immediately accessible. Summary information must be accessible for at least 120 days.

(2) Sales information required shall include:

(i) Daily sales totals by location;

(ii) Commissions distribution summary by location;

(iii) Game-by-game sales, prizes, refunds, by location; and

(iv) Daily network summary, by game by location.

(k) Remote host requirements (for linked electronic games). (1) Linked electronic game providers shall maintain on-line records at the remote host site for any game played. These records shall remain on-line until the conclusion of the session of which the game is a part. Following the conclusion of the session, records may be archived, but in any event, must be retrievable in a timely manner for at least seventy-two (72) hours following the close of the session. Records shall be accessible through some archived media for at least ninety (90) days from the date of the game.

(2) Game information required includes date and time of game start and game end, sales totals, cash distribution (prizes) totals, and refund totals.

(3) Sales information required includes cash register reconciliations, detail and summary records for purchases, prizes, refunds, credits, and game/sales balance for each session.

(l) Standards for player accounts (for proxy play and linked electronic games). (1) Prior to participating in any game, players shall be issued a unique player account number. The player account number can be issued through the following means:

(i) Through the use of a point-of-sale (cash register device);

(ii) By assignment through an individual play station; or

(iii) Through the incorporation of a “player tracking” media.

(2) Printed receipts issued in conjunction with any player account should include a time/date stamp.

(3) All player transactions shall be maintained, chronologically by account number, through electronic means on a data storage device. These transaction records shall be maintained on-line throughout the active game and for at least twenty-four (24) hours before they can be stored on an “off-line” data storage media.

(4) The game software shall provide the ability to, upon request, produce a printed account history, including all transactions, and a printed game summary (total purchases, deposits, wins, debits, for any account that has been active in the game during the preceding twenty-four (24) hours).

(5) The game software shall provide a “player account summary” at the end of every game. This summary shall list all accounts for which there were any transactions during that game day and include total purchases, total deposits, total credits (wins), total debits (cash-outs) and an ending balance.

What are the minimum internal control standards for pull tabs?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer application utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Pull tab inventory. (1) Pull tab inventory (including unused tickets) shall be controlled to assure the integrity of the pull tabs.

(2) Purchased pull tabs shall be inventoried and secured by a person or persons independent of the pull tab sales.

(3) The issue of pull tabs to the cashier or sales location shall be documented and signed for by the person responsible for inventory control and the cashier. The document log shall include the serial number of the pull tabs issued.

(4) Appropriate documentation shall be given to the redemption booth for purposes of determining if the winner purchased the pull tab from the pull tabs issued by the gaming operation. Electronic verification satisfies this requirement.

(5) At the end of each month, a person or persons independent of pull tab sales and inventory control shall verify the accuracy of the ending balance in the pull tab control by reconciling the pull tabs on hand.

(6) A monthly comparison for reasonableness shall be made of the amount of pull tabs sold from the pull tab control log to the amount of revenue recognized. Start Printed Page 43407

(c) Access. Access to pull tabs shall be restricted to authorized persons.

(d) Transfers. Transfers of pull tabs from storage to the sale location shall be secured and independently controlled.

(e) Winning pull tabs. (1) Winning pull tabs shall be verified and paid as follows:

(i) Payouts in excess of a dollar amount determined by the gaming operation, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall be verified by at least two employees.

(ii) Total payout shall be computed and recorded by shift.

(iii) The winning pull tabs shall be voided so that they cannot be presented for payment again.

(2) Personnel independent of pull tab operations shall verify the amount of winning pull tabs redeemed each day.

(f) Accountability form. (1) All funds used to operate the pull tab game shall be recorded on an accountability form.

(2) All funds used to operate the pull tab game shall be counted independently by at least two persons and reconciled to the recorded amounts at the end of each shift or session.

(g) Standards for statistical reports. (1) Records shall be maintained, which include win, write (sales), and a win-to-write hold percentage as compared to the theoretical hold percentage derived from the flare, for each deal or type of game, for:

(i) Each shift;

(ii) Each day;

(iii) Month-to-date; and

(iv) Year-to-date or fiscal year-to-date as applicable.

(2) A manager independent of the pull tab operations shall review statistical information at least on a monthly basis and shall investigate any large or unusual statistical fluctuations. These investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(3) Each month, the actual hold percentage shall be compared to the theoretical hold percentage. Any significant variations (3%) shall be investigated.

(h) Electronic equipment. (1) If the gaming operation utilizes electronic equipment in connection with the play of pull tabs, then the following standards shall also apply.

(i) If the electronic equipment contains a bill acceptor, then § 542.21(d) and (e), § 542.31(d) and (e), or § 542.41(d) and (e)(as applicable) shall apply.

(ii) If the electronic equipment uses a bar code or microchip reader, the reader shall be tested periodically to determine that it is correctly reading the bar code or microchip.

(iii) If the electronic equipment returns a voucher or a payment slip to the player, then § 542.13(n)(as applicable) shall apply.

(2) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for card games?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Standards for drop and count. The procedures for the collection of the card game drop and the count thereof shall comply with § 542.21, § 542.31, or § 542.41 (as applicable).

(c) Standards for supervision. (1) Supervision shall be provided at all times the card room is in operation by personnel with authority equal to or greater than those being supervised.

(2) Exchanges between table banks and the main card room bank (or cage, if a main card room bank is not used) in excess of $100.00 shall be authorized by a supervisor. All exchanges shall be evidenced by the use of a lammer unless the exchange of chips, tokens, and/or cash takes place at the table.

(3) Exchanges from the main card room bank (or cage, if a main card room bank is not used) to the table banks shall be verified by the card room dealer and the runner.

(4) If applicable, transfers between the main card room bank and the cage shall be properly authorized and documented.

(5) A rake collected or ante placed shall be done in accordance with the posted rules.

(d) Standards for playing cards. (1) Playing cards shall be maintained in a secure location to prevent unauthorized access and to reduce the possibility of tampering.

(2) Used cards shall be maintained in a secure location until marked, scored, or destroyed, in a manner approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, to prevent unauthorized access and reduce the possibility of tampering.

(3) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with a reasonable time period, which shall not exceed seven (7) days, within which to mark, cancel, or destroy cards from play.

(i) This standard shall not apply where playing cards are retained for an investigation.

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) A card control log shall be maintained that documents when cards and dice are received on site, distributed to and returned from tables and removed from play by the gaming operation.

(e) Plastic cards. Notwithstanding paragraph (d) of this section, if a gaming operation uses plastic cards (not plastic-coated cards), the cards may be used for up to three (3) months if the plastic cards are routinely inspected, and washed or cleaned in a manner and time frame approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(f) Standards for shills. (1) Issuance of shill funds shall have the written approval of the supervisor.

(2) Shill returns shall be recorded and verified on the shill sign-out form.

(3) The replenishment of shill funds shall be documented.

(g) Standards for reconciliation of card room bank. (1) The amount of the main card room bank shall be counted, recorded, and reconciled on at least a per shift basis.

(2) At least once per shift, the table banks that were opened during that shift shall be counted, recorded, and reconciled by a dealer or other person, and a supervisor, and shall be attested to by their signatures on the check-out form.

(h) Standards for promotional progressive pots and pools. (1) All funds contributed by players into the pools shall be returned when won in accordance with the posted rules with no commission or administrative fee withheld.

(2) Rules governing promotional pools shall be conspicuously posted and designate:

(i) The amount of funds to be contributed from each pot;

(ii) What type of hand it takes to win the pool (e.g., what constitutes a “bad beat”);

(iii) How the promotional funds will be paid out;

(iv) How/when the contributed funds are added to the jackpots; and

(v) Amount/percentage of funds allocated to primary and secondary jackpots, if applicable.

(3) Promotional pool contributions shall not be placed in or near the rake circle, in the drop box, or commingled with gaming revenue from card games or any other gambling game.

(4) The amount of the jackpot shall be conspicuously displayed in the card room.

(5) At least once a day, the posted pool amount shall be updated to reflect the current pool amount.

(6) At least once a day, increases to the posted pool amount shall be Start Printed Page 43408reconciled to the cash previously counted or received by the cage by personnel independent of the card room.

(7) All decreases to the pool must be properly documented, including a reason for the decrease.

(i) Promotional progressive pots and pools where funds are displayed in the card room. (1) Promotional funds displayed in the card room shall be placed in a locked container in plain view of the public.

(2) Persons authorized to transport the locked container shall be precluded from having access to the contents keys.

(3) The contents key shall be maintained by personnel independent of the card room.

(4) At least once a day, the locked container shall be removed by two persons, one of whom is independent of the card games department, and transported directly to the cage or other secure room to be counted, recorded, and verified.

(5) The locked container shall then be returned to the card room where the posted pool amount shall be updated to reflect the current pool amount.

(j) Promotional progressive pots and pools where funds are maintained in the cage. (1) Promotional funds removed from the card game shall be placed in a locked container.

(2) Persons authorized to transport the locked container shall be precluded from having access to the contents keys.

(3) The contents key shall be maintained by personnel independent of the card room.

(4) At least once a day, the locked container shall be removed by two persons, one of whom is independent of the card games department, and transported directly to the cage or other secure room to be counted, recorded, and verified, prior to accepting the funds into cage accountability.

(5) The posted pool amount shall then be updated to reflect the current pool amount.

What are the minimum internal control standards for keno?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Game play standards. (1) The computerized customer ticket shall include the date, game number, ticket sequence number, station number, and conditioning (including multi-race if applicable).

(2) The information on the ticket shall be recorded on a restricted transaction log or computer storage media concurrently with the generation of the ticket.

(3) Keno personnel shall be precluded from having access to the restricted transaction log or computer storage media.

(4) When it is necessary to void a ticket, the void information shall be inputted in the computer and the computer shall document the appropriate information pertaining to the voided wager (e.g., void slip is issued or equivalent documentation is generated).

(5) Controls shall exist to prevent the writing and voiding of tickets after a game has been closed and after the number selection process for that game has begun.

(6) The controls in effect for tickets prepared in outstations (if applicable) shall be identical to those in effect for the primary keno game.

(c) Rabbit ear or wheel system. (1) The following standards shall apply if a rabbit ear or wheel system is utilized:

(i) A dedicated camera shall be utilized to monitor the following both prior to, and subsequent to, the calling of a game:

(A) Empty rabbit ears or wheel;

(B) Date and time;

(C) Game number; and

(D) Full rabbit ears or wheel.

(ii) The film of the rabbit ears or wheel shall provide a legible identification of the numbers on the balls drawn.

(iii) Keno personnel shall immediately input the selected numbers in the computer and the computer shall document the date, the game number, the time the game was closed, and the numbers drawn.

(iv) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that prevent unauthorized access to keno balls in play.

(v) Back-up keno ball inventories shall be secured in a manner to prevent unauthorized access.

(vi) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures for inspecting new keno balls put into play as well as for those in use.

(2) [Reserved]

(d) Random number generator. (1) The following standards shall apply if a random number generator is utilized:

(i) The random number generator shall be linked to the computer system and shall directly relay the numbers selected into the computer without manual input.

(ii) Keno personnel shall be precluded from access to the random number generator.

(2) [Reserved]

(e) Winning tickets. Winning tickets shall be verified and paid as follows:

(1) The sequence number of tickets presented for payment shall be inputted into the computer, and the payment amount generated by the computer shall be given to the customer.

(2) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that preclude payment on tickets previously presented for payment, unclaimed winning tickets (sleepers) after a specified period of time, voided tickets, and tickets that have not been issued yet.

(3) All payouts shall be supported by the customer (computer-generated) copy of the winning ticket (payout amount is indicated on the customer ticket or a payment slip is issued).

(4) A manual report or other documentation shall be produced and maintained documenting any payments made on tickets that are not authorized by the computer.

(5) Winning tickets over a specified dollar amount (not to exceed $10,000 for locations with more than $5 million annual keno write and $3,000 for all other locations) shall also require the following:

(i) Approval of management personnel independent of the keno department, evidenced by their signature;

(ii) Review of the video recording and/or digital record of the rabbit ears or wheel to verify the legitimacy of the draw and the accuracy of the draw ticket (for rabbit ear or wheel systems only);

(iii) Comparison of the winning customer copy to the computer reports;

(iv) Regrading of the customer copy using the payout schedule and draw information; and

(v) Documentation and maintenance of the procedures in this paragraph.

(6) When the keno game is operated by one person, all winning tickets in excess of an amount to be determined by management (not to exceed $1,500) shall be reviewed and authorized by a person independent of the keno department.

(f) Check out standards at the end of each keno shift. (1) For each writer Start Printed Page 43409station, a cash summary report (count sheet) shall be prepared that includes:

(i) Computation of net cash proceeds for the shift and the cash turned in; and

(ii) Signatures of two employees who have verified the net cash proceeds for the shift and the cash turned in.

(2) [Reserved]

(g) Promotional payouts or awards. (1) If a gaming operation offers promotional payouts or awards, the payout form/documentation shall include the following information:

(i) Date and time;

(ii) Dollar amount of payout or description of personal property (e.g., jacket, toaster, car, etc.), including fair market value;

(iii) Type of promotion; and

(iv) Signature of at least one employee authorizing and completing the transaction.

(2) [Reserved]

(h) Standards for statistical reports. (1) Records shall be maintained that include win and write by individual writer for each day.

(2) Records shall be maintained that include win, write, and win-to-write hold percentage for:

(i) Each shift;

(ii) Each day;

(iii) Month-to-date; and

(iv) Year-to-date or fiscal year-to-date as applicable.

(3) A manager independent of the keno department shall review keno statistical data at least on a monthly basis and investigate any large or unusual statistical variances.

(4) At a minimum, investigations shall be performed for statistical percentage fluctuations from the base level for a month in excess of ±3%. The base level shall be defined as the gaming operation's win percentage for the previous business year or the previous twelve (12) months.

(5) Such investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(i) System security standards. (1) All keys (including duplicates) to sensitive computer hardware in the keno area shall be maintained by a department independent of the keno function.

(2) Personnel independent of the keno department shall be required to accompany such keys to the keno area and shall observe changes or repairs each time the sensitive areas are accessed.

(j) Documentation standards. (1) Adequate documentation of all pertinent keno information shall be generated by the computer system.

(2) This documentation shall be restricted to authorized personnel.

(3) The documentation shall include, at a minimum:

(i) Ticket information (as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section);

(ii) Payout information (date, time, ticket number, amount, etc.);

(iii) Game information (number, ball draw, time, etc.);

(iv) Daily recap information, including:

(A) Write;

(B) Payouts; and

(C) Gross revenue (win);

(v) System exception information, including:

(A) Voids;

(B) Late pays; and

(C) Appropriate system parameter information (e.g., changes in pay tables, ball draws, payouts over a predetermined amount, etc.); and

(vi) Personnel access listing, including:

(A) Employee name or employee identification number; and

(B) Listing of functions employee can perform or equivalent means of identifying same.

(k) Keno audit standards. (1) The keno audit function shall be independent of the keno department.

(2) At least annually, keno audit shall foot the write on the restricted copy of the keno transaction report for a minimum of one shift and compare the total to the total as documented by the computer.

(3) For at least one shift every other month, keno audit shall perform the following:

(i) Foot the customer copy of the payouts and trace the total to the payout report; and

(ii) Regrade at least 1% of the winning tickets using the payout schedule and draw ticket.

(4) Keno audit shall perform the following:

(i) For a minimum of five games per week, compare the video recording and/or digital record of the rabbit ears or wheel to the computer transaction summary;

(ii) Compare net cash proceeds to the audited win/loss by shift and investigate any large cash overages or shortages (i.e., in excess of $25.00);

(iii) Review and regrade all winning tickets greater than or equal to $1,500, including all forms that document that proper authorizations and verifications were obtained and performed;

(iv) Review the documentation for payout adjustments made outside the computer and investigate large and frequent payments;

(v) Review personnel access listing for inappropriate functions an employee can perform;

(vi) Review system exception information on a daily basis for propriety of transactions and unusual occurrences including changes to the personnel access listing;

(vii) If a random number generator is used, then at least weekly review the numerical frequency distribution for potential patterns; and

(viii) Investigate and document results of all noted improper transactions or unusual occurrences.

(5) When the keno game is operated by one person:

(i) The customer copies of all winning tickets in excess of $100 and at least 5% of all other winning tickets shall be regraded and traced to the computer payout report;

(ii) The video recording and/or digital record of rabbit ears or wheel shall be randomly compared to the computer game information report for at least 10% of the games during the shift; and

(iii) Keno audit personnel shall review winning tickets for proper authorization pursuant to paragraph (e)(6) of this section.

(6) In the event any person performs the writer and deskman functions on the same shift, the procedures described in paragraphs (k)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section (using the sample sizes indicated) shall be performed on tickets written by that person.

(7) Documentation (e.g., a log, checklist, etc.) that evidences the performance of all keno audit procedures shall be maintained.

(8) A manager independent of the keno department shall review keno audit exceptions, and perform and document investigations into unresolved exceptions. These investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(9) When a multi-game ticket is part of the sample in paragraphs (k)(3)(ii), (k)(5)(i) and (k)(6) of this section, the procedures may be performed for ten (10) games or ten percent (10%) of the games won, whichever is greater.

(l) Access. Access to the computer system shall be adequately restricted (i.e., passwords are changed at least quarterly, access to computer hardware is physically restricted, etc.).

(m) Equipment standards. (1) There shall be effective maintenance planned to service keno equipment, including computer program updates, hardware servicing, and keno ball selection equipment (e.g., service contract with lessor).

(2) Keno equipment maintenance (excluding keno balls) shall be Start Printed Page 43410independent of the operation of the keno game.

(3) Keno maintenance personnel shall report irregularities to management personnel independent of the keno department.

(4) If the gaming operation utilizes a barcode or microchip reader in connection with the play of keno, the reader shall be tested at least annually by personnel independent of the keno department to determine that it is correctly reading the barcode or microchip.

(n) Document retention. (1) All documents (including computer storage media) discussed in this section shall be retained for five (5) years, except for the following, which shall be retained for at least seven (7) days:

(i) Video recordings and/or digital records of rabbit ears or wheel;

(ii) All copies of winning keno tickets of less than $1,500.00.

(2) [Reserved]

(o) Multi-race tickets. (1) Procedures shall be established to notify keno personnel immediately of large multi-race winners to ensure compliance with standards in paragraph (e)(5) of this section.

(2) Procedures shall be established to ensure that keno personnel are aware of multi-race tickets still in process at the end of a shift.

(p) Manual keno. For gaming operations that conduct manual keno games, alternate procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section shall be developed and implemented.

What are the minimum internal control standards for pari-mutuel wagering?

(a) Exemptions. (1) The requirements of this section shall not apply to gaming operations who house pari-mutuel wagering operations conducted entirely by a state licensed simulcast service provider pursuant to an approved tribal-state compact if:

(i) The simulcast service provider utilizes its own employees for all aspects of the pari-mutuel wagering operation;

(ii) The gaming operation posts, in a location visible to the public, that the simulcast service provider and its employees are wholly responsible for the conduct of pari-mutuel wagering offered at that location;

(iii) The gaming operation receives a predetermined fee from the simulcast service provider; and

(iv) In addition, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with standards that ensure that the gaming operation receives, from the racetrack, its contractually guaranteed percentage of the handle.

(2) Gaming operations that contract directly with a state regulated racetrack as a simulcast service provider, but whose on-site pari-mutuel operations are conducted wholly or in part by tribal gaming operation employees, shall not be required to comply with paragraphs (h)(5) thru (h)(9) of this section.

(i) If any standard contained within this section conflicts with state law, a tribal-state compact, or a contract, then the gaming operation shall document the basis for noncompliance and shall maintain such documentation for inspection by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority and the Commission.

(ii) In addition, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with standards that ensure that the gaming operation receives, from the racetrack, its contractually guaranteed percentage of the handle.

(b) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(c) Betting ticket and equipment standards. (1) All pari-mutuel wagers shall be transacted through the pari-mutuel satellite system. In case of computer failure between the pari-mutuel book and the hub, no tickets shall be manually written.

(2) Whenever a betting station is opened for wagering or turned over to a new writer/cashier, the writer/cashier shall sign on and the computer shall document gaming operation name (or identification number), station number, the writer/cashier identifier, and the date and time.

(3) A betting ticket shall consist of at least two parts:

(i) An original, which shall be transacted and issued through a printer and given to the customer; and

(ii) A copy that shall be recorded concurrently with the generation of the original ticket either on paper or other storage media (e.g., tape or diskette).

(4) Upon accepting a wager, the betting ticket that is created shall contain the following:

(i) A unique transaction identifier;

(ii) Gaming operation name (or identification number) and station number;

(iii) Race track, race number, horse identification or event identification, as applicable;

(iv) Type of bet(s), each bet amount, total number of bets, and total take; and

(v) Date and time.

(5) All tickets shall be considered final at post time.

(6) If a gaming operation voids a betting ticket written prior to post time, it shall be immediately entered into the system.

(7) Future wagers shall be accepted and processed in the same manner as regular wagers.

(d) Payout standards. (1) Prior to making payment on a ticket, the writer/cashier shall input the ticket for verification and payment authorization.

(2) The computer shall be incapable of authorizing payment on a ticket that has been previously paid, a voided ticket, a losing ticket, or an unissued ticket.

(e) Checkout standards. (1) Whenever the betting station is closed or the writer/cashier is replaced, the writer/cashier shall sign off and the computer shall document the gaming operation name (or identification number), station number, the writer/cashier identifier, the date and time, and cash balance.

(2) For each writer/cashier station a summary report shall be completed at the conclusion of each shift including:

(i) Computation of cash turned in for the shift; and

(ii) Signatures of two employees who have verified the cash turned in for the shift.

(f) Employee wagering. Pari-mutuel employees shall be prohibited from wagering on race events while on duty, including during break periods.

(g) Computer reports standards. (1) Adequate documentation of all pertinent pari-mutuel information shall be generated by the computer system.

(2) This documentation shall be restricted to authorized personnel.

(3) The documentation shall be created for each day's operation and shall include, but is not limited to:

(i) Unique transaction identifier;

(ii) Date/time of transaction;

(iii) Type of wager;

(iv) Animal identification or event identification;

(v) Amount of wagers (by ticket, writer/SAM, track/event, and total);

(vi) Amount of payouts (by ticket, writer/SAM, track/event, and total);

(vii) Tickets refunded (by ticket, writer, track/event, and total);

(viii) Unpaid winners/vouchers (“outs”) (by ticket/voucher, track/event, and total); Start Printed Page 43411

(ix) Voucher sales/payments (by ticket, writer/SAM, and track/event);

(x) Voids (by ticket, writer, and total);

(xi) Future wagers (by ticket, date of event, total by day, and total at the time of revenue recognition);

(xii) Results (winners and payout data);

(xiii) Breakage data (by race and track/event);

(xiv) Commission data (by race and track/event); and

(xv) Purged data (by ticket and total).

(4) The system shall generate the following reports:

(i) A reconciliation report that summarizes totals by track/event, including write, the day's winning ticket total, total commission and breakage due the gaming operation, and net funds transferred to or from the gaming operation's bank account;

(ii) An exception report that contains a listing of all system functions and overrides not involved in the actual writing or cashing of tickets, including sign-on/off, voids, and manually input paid tickets; and

(iii) A purged ticket report that contains a listing of the unique transaction identifier(s), description, ticket cost and value, and date purged.

(h) Accounting and auditing functions. A gaming operation shall perform the following accounting and auditing functions:

(1) The parimutuel audit shall be conducted by personnel independent of the parimutuel operation.

(2) Documentation shall be maintained evidencing the performance of all parimutuel accounting and auditing procedures.

(3) An accounting employee shall review handle, commission, and breakage for each day's play and recalculate the net amount due to or from the systems operator on a weekly basis.

(4) The accounting employee shall verify actual cash/cash equivalents turned in to the system's summary report for each cashier's drawer (Beginning balance, (+) fills (draws), (+) net write (sold less voids), (−) payouts (net of IRS withholding), (−) cashbacks (paids), (=) cash turn-in).

(5) An accounting employee shall produce a gross revenue recap report to calculate gross revenue for each day's play and for a month-to-date basis, including the following totals:

(i) Commission;

(ii) Positive breakage;

(iii) Negative breakage;

(iv) Track/event fees;

(v) Track/event fee rebates; and

(vi) Purged tickets.

(6) All winning tickets and vouchers shall be physically removed from the SAM's for each day's play.

(7) In the event a SAM does not balance for a day's play, the auditor shall perform the following procedures:

(i) Foot the winning tickets and vouchers deposited and trace to the totals of SAM activity produced by the system;

(ii) Foot the listing of cashed vouchers and trace to the totals produced by the system;

(iii) Review all exceptions for propriety of transactions and unusual occurrences;

(iv) Review all voids for propriety;

(v) Verify the results as produced by the system to the results provided by an independent source;

(vi) Regrade 1% of paid (cashed) tickets to ensure accuracy and propriety; and

(vii) When applicable, reconcile the totals of future tickets written to the totals produced by the system for both earned and unearned take, and review the reports to ascertain that future wagers are properly included on the day of the event.

(8) At least annually, the auditor shall foot the wagers for one day and trace to the total produced by the system.

(9) At least one day per quarter, the auditor shall recalculate and verify the change in the unpaid winners to the total purged tickets.

What are the minimum internal control standards for table games?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Standards for drop and count. The procedures for the collection of the table game drop and the count thereof shall comply with § 542.21, § 542.31, or § 542.41 (as applicable).

(c) Fill and credit standards. (1) Fill slips and credit slips shall be in at least triplicate form, and in a continuous, prenumbered series. Such slips shall be concurrently numbered in a form utilizing the alphabet and only in one series at a time. The alphabet need not be used if the numerical series is not repeated during the business year.

(2) Unissued and issued fill/credit slips shall be safeguarded and adequate procedures shall be employed in their distribution, use, and control. Personnel from the cashier or pit departments shall have no access to the secured (control) copies of the fill/credit slips.

(3) When a fill/credit slip is voided, the cashier shall clearly mark “void” across the face of the original and first copy, the cashier and one other person independent of the transactions shall sign both the original and first copy, and shall submit them to the accounting department for retention and accountability.

(4) Fill transactions shall be authorized by pit supervisory personnel before the issuance of fill slips and transfer of chips, tokens, or cash equivalents. The fill request shall be communicated to the cage where the fill slip is prepared.

(5) At least three parts of each fill slip shall be utilized as follows:

(i) One part shall be transported to the pit with the fill and, after the appropriate signatures are obtained, deposited in the table game drop box;

(ii) One part shall be retained in the cage for reconciliation of the cashier bank; and

(iii) For computer systems, one part shall be retained in a secure manner to insure that only authorized persons may gain access to it. For manual systems, one part shall be retained in a secure manner in a continuous unbroken form.

(6) For Tier C gaming operations, the part of the fill slip that is placed in the table game drop box shall be of a different color for fills than for credits, unless the type of transaction is clearly distinguishable in another manner (the checking of a box on the form shall not be a clearly distinguishable indicator).

(7) The table number, shift, and amount of fill by denomination and in total shall be noted on all copies of the fill slip. The correct date and time shall be indicated on at least two copies.

(8) All fills shall be carried from the cashier's cage by a person who is independent of the cage or pit.

(9) The fill slip shall be signed by at least the following persons (as an indication that each has counted the amount of the fill and the amount agrees with the fill slip):

(i) Cashier who prepared the fill slip and issued the chips, tokens, or cash equivalent;

(ii) Runner who carried the chips, tokens, or cash equivalents from the cage to the pit;

(iii) Dealer or boxperson who received the chips, tokens, or cash equivalents at the gaming table; and

(iv) Pit supervisory personnel who supervised the fill transaction.

(10) Fills shall be broken down and verified by the dealer or boxperson in public view before the dealer or boxperson places the fill in the table tray. Start Printed Page 43412

(11) A copy of the fill slip shall then be deposited into the drop box on the table by the dealer, where it shall appear in the soft count room with the cash receipts for the shift.

(12) Table credit transactions shall be authorized by a pit supervisor before the issuance of credit slips and transfer of chips, tokens, or other cash equivalent. The credit request shall be communicated to the cage where the credit slip is prepared.

(13) At least three parts of each credit slip shall be utilized as follows:

(i) Two parts of the credit slip shall be transported by the runner to the pit. After signatures of the runner, dealer, and pit supervisor are obtained, one copy shall be deposited in the table game drop box and the original shall accompany transport of the chips, tokens, markers, or cash equivalents from the pit to the cage for verification and signature of the cashier.

(ii) For computer systems, one part shall be retained in a secure manner to insure that only authorized persons may gain access to it. For manual systems, one part shall be retained in a secure manner in a continuous unbroken form.

(14) The table number, shift, and the amount of credit by denomination and in total shall be noted on all copies of the credit slip. The correct date and time shall be indicated on at least two copies.

(15) Chips, tokens, and/or cash equivalents shall be removed from the table tray by the dealer or boxperson and shall be broken down and verified by the dealer or boxperson in public view prior to placing them in racks for transfer to the cage.

(16) All chips, tokens, and cash equivalents removed from the tables and markers removed from the pit shall be carried to the cashier's cage by a person who is independent of the cage or pit.

(17) The credit slip shall be signed by at least the following persons (as an indication that each has counted or, in the case of markers, reviewed the items transferred):

(i) Cashier who received the items transferred from the pit and prepared the credit slip;

(ii) Runner who carried the items transferred from the pit to the cage;

(iii) Dealer who had custody of the items prior to transfer to the cage; and

(iv) Pit supervisory personnel who supervised the credit transaction.

(18) The credit slip shall be inserted in the drop box by the dealer.

(19) Chips, tokens, or other cash equivalents shall be deposited on or removed from gaming tables only when accompanied by the appropriate fill/credit or marker transfer forms.

(20) Cross fills (the transfer of chips between table games) and even cash exchanges are prohibited in the pit.

(d) Table inventory forms. (1) At the close of each shift, for those table banks that were opened during that shift:

(i) The table's chip, token, coin, and marker inventory shall be counted and recorded on a table inventory form; or

(ii) If the table banks are maintained on an imprest basis, a final fill or credit shall be made to bring the bank back to par.

(2) If final fills are not made, beginning and ending inventories shall be recorded on the master game sheet for shift win calculation purposes.

(3) The accuracy of inventory forms prepared at shift end shall be verified by the outgoing pit supervisor and the dealer. Alternatively, if the dealer is not available, such verification may be provided by another pit supervisor or another supervisor from another gaming department. Verifications shall be evidenced by signature on the inventory form.

(4) If inventory forms are placed in the drop box, such action shall be performed by a person other than a pit supervisor.

(e) Table games computer generated documentation standards. (1) The computer system shall be capable of generating adequate documentation of all information recorded on the source documents and transaction detail (e.g., fill/credit slips, markers, etc.).

(2) This documentation shall be restricted to authorized personnel.

(3) The documentation shall include, at a minimum:

(i) System exception information (e.g., appropriate system parameter information, corrections, voids, etc.); and

(ii) Personnel access listing, which includes, at a minimum:

(A) Employee name or employee identification number (if applicable); and

(B) Listing of functions employees can perform or equivalent means of identifying the same.

(f) Standards for playing cards and dice. (1) Playing cards and dice shall be maintained in a secure location to prevent unauthorized access and to reduce the possibility of tampering.

(2) Used cards and dice shall be maintained in a secure location until marked, scored, or destroyed, in a manner as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, to prevent unauthorized access and reduce the possibility of tampering.

(3) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with a reasonable time period, which shall not exceed seven (7) days, within which to mark, cancel, or destroy cards and dice from play.

(i) This standard shall not apply where playing cards or dice are retained for an investigation.

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) A card control log shall be maintained that documents when cards and dice are received on site, distributed to and returned from tables and removed from play by the gaming operation.

(g) Plastic cards. Notwithstanding paragraph (f) of this section, if a gaming operation uses plastic cards (not plastic-coated cards), the cards may be used for up to three (3) months if the plastic cards are routinely inspected, and washed or cleaned in a manner and time frame approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(h) Standards for supervision. Pit supervisory personnel (with authority equal to or greater than those being supervised) shall provide supervision of all table games.

(i) Analysis of table game performance standards. (1) Records shall be maintained by day and shift indicating any single-deck blackjack games that were dealt for an entire shift.

(2) Records reflecting hold percentage by table and type of game shall be maintained by shift, by day, cumulative month-to-date, and cumulative year-to-date.

(3) This information shall be presented to and reviewed by management independent of the pit department on at least a monthly basis.

(4) The management in paragraph (h)(3) of this section shall investigate any unusual fluctuations in hold percentage with pit supervisory personnel.

(5) The results of such investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(j) Accounting/auditing standards. (1) The accounting and auditing procedures shall be performed by personnel who are independent of the transactions being audited/accounted for.

(2) If a table game has the capability to determine drop (e.g., bill-in/coin-drop meters, bill acceptor, computerized record, etc.) the dollar amount of the drop shall be reconciled to the actual drop by shift.

(3) Accounting/auditing employees shall review exception reports for all computerized table games systems at Start Printed Page 43413least monthly for propriety of transactions and unusual occurrences.

(4) All noted improper transactions or unusual occurrences shall be investigated with the results documented.

(5) Evidence of table games auditing procedures and any follow-up performed shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(6) A daily recap shall be prepared for the day and month-to-date, which shall include the following information:

(i) Drop;

(ii) Win; and

(iii) Gross revenue.

(k) Marker credit play. (1) If a gaming operation allows marker credit play (exclusive of rim credit and call bets), the following standards shall apply:

(i) A marker system shall allow for credit to be both issued and repaid in the pit.

(ii) Prior to the issuance of gaming credit to a player, the employee extending the credit shall contact the cashier or other independent source to determine if the player's credit limit has been properly established and there is sufficient remaining credit available for the advance.

(iii) Proper authorization of credit extension in excess of the previously established limit shall be documented.

(iv) The amount of credit extended shall be communicated to the cage or another independent source and the amount documented within a reasonable time subsequent to each issuance.

(v) The marker form shall be prepared in at least triplicate form (triplicate form being defined as three parts performing the functions delineated in the standard in paragraph (j)(1)(vi) of this section), with a preprinted or concurrently-printed marker number, and utilized in numerical sequence. (This requirement shall not preclude the distribution of batches of markers to various pits.)

(vi) At least three parts of each separately numbered marker form shall be utilized as follows:

(A) Original shall be maintained in the pit until settled or transferred to the cage;

(B) Payment slip shall be maintained in the pit until the marker is settled or transferred to the cage. If paid in the pit, the slip shall be inserted in the table game drop box. If not paid in the pit, the slip shall be transferred to the cage with the original;

(C) Issue slip shall be inserted into the appropriate table game drop box when credit is extended or when the player has signed the original.

(vii) When marker documentation (e.g., issue slip and payment slip) is inserted in the drop box, such action shall be performed by the dealer or boxperson at the table.

(viii) A record shall be maintained that details the following (e.g., master credit record retained at the pit podium):

(A) The signature or initials of the person(s) approving the extension of credit (unless such information is contained elsewhere for each issuance);

(B) The legible name of the person receiving the credit;

(C) The date and shift of granting the credit;

(D) The table on which the credit was extended;

(E) The amount of credit issued;

(F) The marker number;

(G) The amount of credit remaining after each issuance or the total credit available for all issuances;

(H) The amount of payment received and nature of settlement (e.g., credit slip number, cash, chips, etc.); and

(I) The signature or initials of the person receiving payment/settlement.

(ix) The forms required in paragraphs (j)(1)(v), (vi), and (viii) of this section shall be safeguarded, and adequate procedures shall be employed to control the distribution, use, and access to these forms.

(x) All credit extensions shall be initially evidenced by lammer buttons, which shall be displayed on the table in public view and placed there by supervisory personnel.

(xi) Marker preparation shall be initiated and other records updated within approximately one hand of play following the initial issuance of credit to the player.

(xii) Lammer buttons shall be removed only by the dealer or boxperson employed at the table upon completion of a marker transaction. (xiii) The original marker shall contain at least the following information:

(A) Marker number;

(B) Player's name and signature;

(C) Date; and

(D) Amount of credit issued.

(xiv) The issue slip or stub shall include the same marker number as the original, the table number, date and time of issuance, and amount of credit issued. The issue slip or stub shall also include the signature of the person extending the credit, and the signature or initials of the dealer or boxperson at the applicable table, unless this information is included on another document verifying the issued marker.

(xv) The payment slip shall include the same marker number as the original. When the marker is paid in full in the pit, it shall also include the table number where paid, date and time of payment, nature of settlement (cash, chips, etc.), and amount of payment. The payment slip shall also include the signature of pit supervisory personnel acknowledging payment, and the signature or initials of the dealer or boxperson receiving payment, unless this information is included on another document verifying the payment of the marker.

(xvi) When partial payments are made in the pit, a new marker shall be completed reflecting the remaining balance and the marker number of the marker originally issued.

(xvii) When partial payments are made in the pit, the payment slip of the marker that was originally issued shall be properly cross-referenced to the new marker number, completed with all information required by paragraph (j)(1)(xv) of this section, and inserted into the drop box.

(xviii) The cashier's cage or another independent source shall be notified when payments (full or partial) are made in the pit so that cage records can be updated for such transactions. Notification shall be made no later than when the customer's play is completed or at shift end, whichever is earlier.

(xix) All portions of markers, both issued and unissued, shall be safeguarded and procedures shall be employed to control the distribution, use and access to the forms.

(xx) An investigation shall be performed to determine the cause and responsibility for loss whenever marker forms, or any part thereof, are missing. These investigations shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(xxi) When markers are transferred to the cage, marker transfer forms or marker credit slips (or similar documentation) shall be utilized and such documents shall include, at a minimum, the date, time, shift, marker number(s), table number(s), amount of each marker, the total amount transferred, signature of pit supervisory personnel releasing instruments from the pit, and the signature of cashier verifying receipt of instruments at the cage.

(xxii) All markers shall be transferred to the cage within twenty-four (24) hours of issuance.

(xxiii) Markers shall be transported to the cashier's cage by a person who is independent of the marker issuance and payment functions (pit clerks may perform this function).

(2) [Reserved] Start Printed Page 43414

(l) Name credit instruments accepted in the pit. (1) For the purposes of this paragraph, name credit instruments means personal checks, payroll checks, counter checks, hold checks, traveler's checks, or other similar instruments that are accepted in the pit as a form of credit issuance to a player with an approved credit limit.

(2) The following standards shall apply if name credit instruments are accepted in the pit:

(i) A name credit system shall allow for the issuance of credit without using markers;

(ii) Prior to accepting a name credit instrument, the employee extending the credit shall contact the cashier or another independent source to determine if the player's credit limit has been properly established and the remaining credit available is sufficient for the advance;

(iii) All name credit instruments shall be transferred to the cashier's cage (utilizing a two-part order for credit) immediately following the acceptance of the instrument and issuance of chips (if name credit instruments are transported accompanied by a credit slip, an order for credit is not required);

(iv) The order for credit (if applicable) and the credit slip shall include the customer's name, amount of the credit instrument, the date, time, shift, table number, signature of pit supervisory personnel releasing instrument from pit, and the signature of the cashier verifying receipt of instrument at the cage;

(v) The procedures for transacting table credits at standards in paragraphs (c)(12) through (19) of this section shall be strictly adhered to; and

(vi) The acceptance of payments in the pit for name credit instruments shall be prohibited.

(m) Call bets. (1) The following standards shall apply if call bets are accepted in the pit:

(i) A call bet shall be evidenced by the placement of a lammer button, chips, or other identifiable designation in an amount equal to that of the wager in a specific location on the table;

(ii) The placement of the lammer button, chips, or other identifiable designation shall be performed by supervisory/boxperson personnel. The placement may be performed by a dealer only if the supervisor physically observes and gives specific authorization;

(iii) The call bet shall be settled at the end of each hand of play by the preparation of a marker, repayment of the credit extended, or the payoff of the winning wager. Call bets extending beyond one hand of play shall be prohibited; and

(iv) The removal of the lammer button, chips, or other identifiable designation shall be performed by the dealer/ boxperson upon completion of the call bet transaction.

(2) [Reserved]

(n) Rim credit. (1) The following standards shall apply if rim credit is extended in the pit:

(i) Rim credit shall be evidenced by the issuance of chips to be placed in a neutral zone on the table and then extended to the customer for the customer to wager, or to the dealer to wager for the customer, and by the placement of a lammer button or other identifiable designation in an amount equal to that of the chips extended; and

(ii) Rim credit shall be recorded on player cards, or similarly used documents, which shall be:

(A) Prenumbered or concurrently numbered and accounted for by a department independent of the pit;

(B) For all extensions and subsequent repayments, evidenced by the initials or signatures of a supervisor and the dealer attesting to the validity of each credit extension and repayment;

(C) An indication of the settlement method (e.g., serial number of marker issued, chips, cash);

(D) Settled no later than when the customer leaves the table at which the card is prepared;

(E) Transferred to the accounting department on a daily basis; and

(F) Reconciled with other forms utilized to control the issuance of pit credit (e.g., master credit records, table cards).

(2) [Reserved]

(o) Foreign currency. (l) The following standards shall apply if foreign currency is accepted in the pit:

(i) Foreign currency transactions shall be authorized by a pit supervisor/ boxperson who completes a foreign currency exchange form before the exchange for chips or tokens;

(ii) Foreign currency exchange forms include the country of origin, total face value, amount of chips/token extended (i.e., conversion amount), signature of supervisor/boxperson, and the dealer completing the transaction;

(iii) Foreign currency exchange forms and the foreign currency shall be inserted in the drop box by the dealer; and

(iv) Alternate procedures specific to the use of foreign valued gaming chips shall be developed by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(2) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for gaming machines?

(a) Standards for gaming machines.

(1) For this section only, credit or customer credit means a unit of value equivalent to cash or cash equivalents deposited, wagered, won, lost, or redeemed by a customer.

(2) Coins shall include tokens.

(3) For all computerized gaming machine systems, a personnel access listing shall be maintained, which includes at a minimum:

(i) Employee name or employee identification number (or equivalent); and

(ii) Listing of functions employee can perform or equivalent means of identifying same.

(b) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(c) Standards for drop and count. The procedures for the collection of the gaming machine drop and the count thereof shall comply with § 542.21, § 542.31, or § 542.41 (as applicable).

(d) Jackpot payouts, gaming machines fills, short pays and accumulated credit payouts standards. (1) For jackpot payouts and gaming machine fills, documentation shall include the following information:

(i) Date and time;

(ii) Machine number;

(iii) Dollar amount of cash payout or gaming machine fill (both alpha and numeric) or description of personal property awarded, including fair market value. Alpha is optional if another unalterable method is used for evidencing the amount of the payout;

(iv) Game outcome (including reel symbols, card values, suits, etc.) for jackpot payouts. Game outcome is not required if a computerized jackpot/fill system is used;

(v) Preprinted or concurrently printed sequential number; and

(vi) Signatures of at least two employees verifying and witnessing the payout or gaming machine fill (except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (d)(1)(vi)(A), (B), and (C) of this section).

(A) Jackpot payouts over a predetermined amount shall require the signature and verification of a supervisory or management employee independent of the gaming machine department (in addition to the two signatures required in paragraph (d)(1)(vi) of this section). Alternatively, if an on-line accounting system is utilized, only two signatures are Start Printed Page 43415required: one employee and one supervisory or management employee independent of the gaming machine department. This predetermined amount shall be authorized by management (as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority), documented, and maintained.

(B) With regard to jackpot payouts and hopper fills, the signature of one employee is sufficient if an on-line accounting system is utilized and the jackpot or fill is less than $1,200.

(C) On graveyard shifts (eight-hour maximum) payouts/fills less than $100 can be made without the payout/fill being witnessed by a second person.

(2) For short pays of $10.00 or more, and payouts required for accumulated credits, the payout form shall include the following information:

(i) Date and time;

(ii) Machine number;

(iii) Dollar amount of payout (both alpha and numeric); and

(iv) The signature of at least one (1) employee verifying and witnessing the payout.

(A) Where the payout amount is $50 or more, signatures of at least two (2) employees verifying and witnessing the payout. Alternatively, the signature of one (1) employee is sufficient if an on-line accounting system is utilized and the payout amount is less than $3,000.

(B) [Reserved]

(3) Computerized jackpot/fill systems shall be restricted so as to prevent unauthorized access and fraudulent payouts by one person as required by § 542.16(a).

(4) Payout forms shall be controlled and routed in a manner that precludes any one person from producing a fraudulent payout by forging signatures or by altering the amount paid out subsequent to the payout and misappropriating the funds.

(e) Promotional payouts or awards. (1) If a gaming operation offers promotional payouts or awards that are not reflected on the gaming machine pay table, then the payout form/documentation shall include:

(i) Date and time;

(ii) Machine number and denomination;

(iii) Dollar amount of payout or description of personal property (e.g., jacket, toaster, car, etc.), including fair market value;

(iv) Type of promotion (e.g., double jackpots, four-of-a-kind bonus, etc.); and

(v) Signature of at least one employee authorizing and completing the transaction.

(2) [Reserved]

(f) Gaming machine department funds standards. (1) The gaming machine booths and change banks that are active during the shift, shall be counted down and reconciled each shift utilizing appropriate accountability documentation.

(2) The wrapping of loose gaming machine booth and cage cashier coin shall be performed at a time or location that does not interfere with the hard count/wrap process or the accountability of that process.

(3) A record shall be maintained evidencing the transfers of wrapped and unwrapped coins and retained for seven (7) days.

(g) EPROM control standards. (1) At least annually, procedures shall be performed to insure the integrity of a sample of gaming machine game program EPROMs, or other equivalent game software media, by personnel independent of the gaming machine department or the machines being tested.

(2) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation subject to the approval of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall develop and implement procedures for the following:

(i) Removal of EPROMs, or other equivalent game software media, from devices, the verification of the existence of errors as applicable, and the correction via duplication from the master game program EPROM, or other equivalent game software media;

(ii) Copying one gaming device program to another approved program;

(iii) Verification of duplicated EPROMs before being offered for play;

(iv) Receipt and destruction of EPROMs, or other equivalent game software media; and

(v) Securing the EPROM, or other equivalent game software media, duplicator, and master game EPROMs, or other equivalent game software media, from unrestricted access.

(3) The master game program number, par percentage, and the pay table shall be verified to the par sheet when initially received from the manufacturer.

(4) Gaming machines with potential jackpots in excess of $100,000 shall have the game software circuit boards locked or physically sealed. The lock or seal shall necessitate the presence of a person independent of the gaming machine department to access the device game program EPROM, or other equivalent game software media. If a seal is used to secure the board to the frame of the gaming device, it shall be pre-numbered.

(5) Records that document the procedures in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section shall include the following information:

(i) Date;

(ii) Machine number (source and destination);

(iii) Manufacturer;

(iv) Program number;

(v) Personnel involved;

(vi) Reason for duplication;

(vii) Disposition of any permanently removed EPROM, or other equivalent game software media;

(viii) Seal numbers, if applicable; and

(ix) Approved testing lab approval numbers, if available.

(6) EPROMS, or other equivalent game software media, returned to gaming devices shall be labeled with the program number. Supporting documentation shall include the date, program number, information identical to that shown on the manufacturer's label, and initials of the person replacing the EPROM, or other equivalent game software media.

(h) Standards for evaluating theoretical and actual hold percentages. (1) Accurate and current theoretical hold worksheets shall be maintained for each gaming machine.

(2) For those gaming machines or groups of identical machines (excluding multi-game machines) with differences in theoretical payback percentage exceeding a 4% spread between the minimum and maximum theoretical payback, an employee or department independent from the gaming machine department shall perform a weighted average calculation to periodically adjust theoretical as follows:

(i) On a quarterly basis, record the meters that contain the number of plays by wager (i.e., one coin, two coins, etc.);

(ii) On an annual basis, calculate the theoretical hold percentage based on the distribution of plays by wager type;

(iii) On an annual basis, adjust the machine(s) theoretical hold percentage in the gaming machine statistical report to reflect this revised percentage; and

(iv) The adjusted theoretical hold percentage shall be within the spread between the minimum and maximum theoretical payback percentages.

(3) For those gaming operations that are unable to perform the weighted average calculation as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this section, the following procedures shall apply:

(i) On at least an annual basis, calculate the actual hold percentage for each aming machine;

(ii) On at least an annual basis, adjust the theoretical hold percentage in the gaming machine statistical report for each gaming machine to the previously calculated actual hold percentage; and

(iii) The adjusted theoretical hold percentage shall be within the spread Start Printed Page 43416between the minimum and maximum theoretical payback percentages.

(4) For multi-game machines with a four percent (4%) or greater spread between minimum and maximum theoretical payback percentages, an employee or department independent of the gaming machine department shall:

(i) Weekly, record the total coin-in meter;

(ii) Quarterly, record the coin-in meters for each game contained in the machine; and

(iii) On an annual basis, adjust the theoretical hold percentage in the gaming machine statistical report to a weighted average based upon the ratio of coin-in for each game.

(5) The adjusted theoretical hold percentage for multi-game machines may be combined for machines with exactly the same game mix throughout the year.

(6) The theoretical hold percentages used in the gaming machine analysis reports should be within the performance standards set by the manufacturer.

(7) Records shall be maintained for each machine indicating the dates and type of changes made and the recalculation of theoretical hold as a result of the changes.

(8) Records shall be maintained for each machine that indicate the date the machine was placed into service, the date the machine was removed from operation, the date the machine was placed back into operation, and any changes in machine numbers and designations.

(9) All of the gaming machines shall contain functioning meters that shall record coin-in or credit-in, or on-line gaming machine monitoring system that captures similar data.

(10) All gaming machines with bill acceptors shall contain functioning bill-in meters that record the dollar amounts or number of bills accepted by denomination.

(11) Gaming machine in-meter readings shall be recorded at least weekly (monthly for Tier A and Tier B gaming operations) immediately prior to or subsequent to a gaming machine drop. On-line gaming machine monitoring systems can satisfy this requirement. However, the time between readings may extend beyond one week in order for a reading to coincide with the end of an accounting period only if such extension is for no longer than six (6) days.

(12) The employee who records the in-meter reading shall either be independent of the hard count team or shall be assigned on a rotating basis, unless the in-meter readings are randomly verified quarterly for all gaming machines and bill acceptors by a person other than the regular in-meter reader.

(13) Upon receipt of the meter reading summary, the accounting department shall review all meter readings for reasonableness using pre-established parameters.

(14) Prior to final preparation of statistical reports, meter readings that do not appear reasonable shall be reviewed with gaming machine department employees or other appropriate designees, and exceptions documented, so that meters can be repaired or clerical errors in the recording of meter readings can be corrected.

(15) A report shall be produced at least monthly showing month-to-date, year-to-date (previous twelve (12) months data preferred), and if practicable, life-to-date actual hold percentage computations for individual machines and a comparison to each machine's theoretical hold percentage previously discussed.

(16) Each change to a gaming machine's theoretical hold percentage, including progressive percentage contributions, shall result in that machine being treated as a new machine in the statistical reports (i.e., not commingling various hold percentages), except for adjustments made in accordance with paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(17) If promotional payouts or awards are included on the gaming machine statistical reports, it shall be in a manner that prevents distorting the actual hold percentages of the affected machines.

(18) The statistical reports shall be reviewed by both gaming machine department management and management employees independent of the gaming machine department on at least a monthly basis.

(19) For those machines in play for more than six (6) months, large variances (three percent (3%) recommended) between theoretical hold and actual hold shall be investigated and resolved by a department independent of the gaming machine department with the findings documented and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request in a timely manner.

(20) Maintenance of the on-line gaming machine monitoring system data files shall be performed by a department independent of the gaming machine department. Alternatively, maintenance may be performed by gaming machine supervisory employees if sufficient documentation is generated and it is randomly verified on a monthly basis by employees independent of the gaming machine department.

(21) Updates to the on-line gaming machine monitoring system to reflect additions, deletions, or movements of gaming machines shall be made at least weekly prior to in-meter readings and the weigh process.

(i) Gaming machine hopper contents standards. (1) When machines are temporarily removed from the floor, gaming machine drop and hopper contents shall be protected to preclude the misappropriation of stored funds.

(2) When machines are permanently removed from the floor, the gaming machine drop and hopper contents shall be counted and recorded by at least two employees with appropriate documentation being routed to the accounting department for proper recording and accounting for initial hopper loads.

(j) Player tracking system. (1) The following standards apply if a player tracking system is utilized:

(i) The player tracking system shall be secured so as to prevent unauthorized access (e.g., changing passwords at least quarterly and physical access to computer hardware, etc.).

(ii) The addition of points to members' accounts other than through actual gaming machine play shall be sufficiently documented (including substantiation of reasons for increases) and shall be authorized by a department independent of the player tracking and gaming machines. Alternatively, addition of points to members' accounts may be authorized by gaming machine supervisory employees if sufficient documentation is generated and it is randomly verified by employees independent of the gaming machine department on a quarterly basis.

(iii) Booth employees who redeem points for members shall be allowed to receive lost players club cards, provided that they are immediately deposited into a secured container for retrieval by independent personnel.

(iv) Changes to the player tracking system parameters, such as point structures and employee access, shall be performed by supervisory employees independent of the gaming machine department. Alternatively, changes to player tracking system parameters may be performed by gaming machine supervisory employees if sufficient documentation is generated and it is randomly verified by supervisory employees independent of the gaming machine department on a monthly basis. Start Printed Page 43417

(v) All other changes to the player tracking system shall be appropriately documented.

(2) [Reserved]

(k) In-house progressive gaming machine standards. (1) A meter that shows the amount of the progressive jackpot shall be conspicuously displayed at or near the machines to which the jackpot applies.

(2) At least once each day, each gaming operation shall record the amount shown on each progressive jackpot meter at the gaming operation except for those jackpots that can be paid directly from the machine's hopper;

(3) Explanations for meter reading decreases shall be maintained with the progressive meter reading sheets, and where the payment of a jackpot is the explanation for a decrease, the gaming operation shall record the jackpot payout number on the sheet or have the number reasonably available; and

(4) Each gaming operation shall record the base amount of each progressive jackpot the gaming operation offers.

(5) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall approve procedures specific to the transfer of progressive amounts in excess of the base amount to other gaming machines. Such procedures may also include other methods of distribution that accrue to the benefit of the gaming public via an award or prize.

(l) Wide area progressive gaming machine standards. (1) A meter that shows the amount of the progressive jackpot shall be conspicuously displayed at or near the machines to which the jackpot applies.

(2) As applicable to participating gaming operations, the wide area progressive gaming machine system shall be adequately restricted to prevent unauthorized access (e.g., changing passwords at least quarterly, restrict access to EPROMs or other equivalent game software media, and restrict physical access to computer hardware, etc.).

(3) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall approve procedures for the wide area progressive system that:

(i) Reconcile meters and jackpot payouts;

(ii) Collect/drop gaming machine funds;

(iii) Verify jackpot, payment, and billing to gaming operations on pro-rata basis;

(iv) System maintenance;

(v) System accuracy; and

(vi) System security.

(4) Reports, where applicable, adequately documenting the procedures required in paragraph (1)(3) of this section shall be generated and retained.

(m) Accounting/auditing standards. (1) Gaming machine accounting/auditing procedures shall be performed by employees who are independent of the transactions being reviewed.

(2) For on-line gaming machine monitoring systems, procedures shall be performed at least monthly to verify that the system is transmitting and receiving data from the gaming machines properly and to verify the continuing accuracy of the coin-in meter readings as recorded in the gaming machine statistical report.

(3) For weigh scale and currency interface systems, for at least one drop period per month accounting/auditing employees shall make such comparisons as necessary to the system generated count as recorded in the gaming machine statistical report. Discrepancies shall be resolved prior to generation/distribution of gaming machine reports.

(4) For each drop period, accounting/auditing personnel shall compare the coin-to-drop meter reading to the actual drop amount. Discrepancies should be resolved prior to generation/distribution of on-line gaming machine monitoring system statistical reports.

(5) Follow-up shall be performed for any one machine having an unresolved variance between actual coin drop and coin-to-drop meter reading in excess of three percent (3%) and over $25.00. The follow-up performed and results of the investigation shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(6) At least weekly, accounting/auditing employees shall compare the bill-in meter reading to the total bill acceptor drop amount for the week. Discrepancies shall be resolved before the generation/distribution of gaming machine statistical reports.

(7) Follow-up shall be performed for any one machine having an unresolved variance between actual currency drop and bill-in meter reading in excess of $200.00. The follow-up performed and results of the investigation shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(8) At least annually, accounting/auditing personnel shall randomly verify that EPROM or other equivalent game software media changes are properly reflected in the gaming machine analysis reports.

(9) Accounting/auditing employees shall review exception reports for all computerized gaming machine systems on a daily basis for propriety of transactions and unusual occurrences.

(10) All gaming machine auditing procedures and any follow-up performed shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(n) Cash-out tickets. For gaming machines that utilize cash-out tickets, the following standards apply. This standard is not applicable to Tiers A and B. Tier A and B gaming operations shall develop adequate standards governing the security over the issuance of the cash-out paper to the gaming machines and the redemption of cash-out slips.

(1) In addition to the applicable auditing and accounting standards in paragraph (m) of this section, on a quarterly basis, the gaming operation shall foot all jackpot cash-out tickets equal to or greater than $1,200 and trace totals to those produced by the host validation computer system.

(2) The customer may request a cash-out ticket from the gaming machine that reflects all remaining credits. The cash-out ticket shall be printed at the gaming machine by an internal document printer. The cash-out ticket shall be valid for a time period specified by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. Cash-out tickets may be redeemed for payment or inserted in another gaming machine and wagered, if applicable, during the specified time period.

(3) The customer shall redeem the cash-out ticket at a change booth or cashiers' cage. Alternatively, if a gaming operation utilizes a remote computer validation system, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall develop alternate standards for the maximum amount that can be redeemed, which shall not exceed $2,999.99 per cash-out transaction.

(4) Upon presentation of the cash-out ticket(s) for redemption, the following shall occur:

(i) Scan the bar code via an optical reader or its equivalent; or

(ii) Input the cash-out ticket validation number into the computer.

(5) The information contained in paragraph (n)(4) of this section shall be communicated to the host computer. The host computer shall verify the authenticity of the cash-out ticket and communicate directly to the redeemer of the cash-out ticket.

(6) If valid, the cashier (redeemer of the cash-out ticket) pays the customer the appropriate amount and the cash-out ticket is electronically noted “paid” in the system. The “paid” cash-out Start Printed Page 43418ticket shall remain in the cashiers” bank for reconciliation purposes. The host validation computer system shall electronically reconcile the cashier's banks for the paid cashed-out tickets.

(7) If invalid, the host computer shall notify the cashier (redeemer of the cash-out ticket). The cashier (redeemer of the cash-out ticket) shall refuse payment to the customer and notify a supervisor of the invalid condition. The supervisor shall resolve the dispute.

(8) If the host validation computer system temporarily goes down, cashiers may redeem cash-out tickets at a change booth or cashier's cage after recording the following:

(i) Serial number of the cash-out ticket;

(ii) Date and time;

(iii) Dollar amount;

(iv) Issuing gaming machine number;

(v) Marking ticket “paid''; and

(vi) Ticket shall remain in cashier's bank for reconciliation purposes.

(9) Cash-out tickets shall be validated as expeditiously as possible when the host validation computer system is restored.

(10) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures to control cash-out ticket paper, which shall include procedures that:

(i) Mitigate the risk of counterfeiting of cash-out ticket paper;

(ii) Adequately control the inventory of the cash-out ticket paper; and

(iii) Provide for the destruction of all unused cash-out ticket paper.

(iv) Alternatively, if the gaming operation utilizes a computer validation system, this standard shall not apply.

(11) If the host validation computer system is down for more than four (4) hours, the gaming operation shall promptly notify the Tribal gaming regulatory authority or its designated representative.

(12) These gaming machine systems shall comply with all other standards (as applicable) in this part including:

(i) Standards for bill acceptor drop and count;

(ii) Standards for coin drop and count; and

(iii) Standards concerning EPROMS or other equivalent game software media.

(o) Account access cards. For gaming machines that utilize account access cards to activate play of the machine, the following standards shall apply:

(1) Equipment. (i) A central computer, with supporting hardware and software, to coordinate network activities, provide system interface, and store and manage a player/account database;

(ii) A network of contiguous player terminals with touch-screen or button-controlled video monitors connected to an electronic selection device and the central computer via a communications network;

(iii) One or more electronic selection devices, utilizing random number generators, each of which selects any combination or combinations of numbers, colors, and/or symbols for a network of player terminals.

(2) Player terminals standards. (i) The player terminals are connected to a game server;

(ii) The game server shall generate and transmit to the bank of player terminals a set of random numbers, colors, and/or symbols at regular intervals. The subsequent game results are determined at the player terminal and the resulting information is transmitted to the account server;

(iii) The game server shall be housed in a game server room or a secure locked cabinet.

(3) Customer account maintenance standards. (i) A central computer acting as an account server shall provide customer account maintenance and the deposit/withdrawal function of those account balances;

(ii) Customers may access their accounts on the computer system by means of an account access card at the player terminal. Each player terminal may be equipped with a card reader and personal identification number (PIN) pad or touch screen array for this purpose;

(iii) All communications between the player terminal, or bank of player terminals, and the account server shall be encrypted for security reasons.

(4) Customer account generation standards. (i) A computer file for each customer shall be prepared by a clerk, with no incompatible functions, prior to the customer being issued an account access card to be utilized for machine play. The customer may select his/her PIN to be used in conjunction with the account access card.

(ii) The clerk shall sign-on with a unique password to a terminal equipped with peripherals required to establish a customer account. Passwords are issued and can only be changed by information technology personnel at the discretion of the department director.

(iii) After entering a specified number of incorrect PIN entries at the cage or player terminal, the customer shall be directed to proceed to the Gaming Machine Information Center to obtain a new PIN. If a customer forgets, misplaces or requests a change to their PIN, the customer shall proceed to the Gaming Machine Information Center.

(5) Deposit of credits standards. (i) The cashier shall sign-on with a unique password to a cashier terminal equipped with peripherals required to complete the credit transactions. Passwords are issued and can only be changed by information technology personnel at the discretion of the department director.

(ii) The customer shall present cash, chips, coin or coupons along with their account access card to a cashier to deposit credits.

(iii) The cashier shall complete the transaction by utilizing a card scanner that the cashier shall slide the customer's account access card through.

(iv) The cashier shall accept the funds from the customer and enter the appropriate amount on the cashier terminal.

(v) A multi-part deposit slip shall be generated by the point of sale receipt printer. The cashier shall direct the customer to sign the deposit slip receipt. One copy of the deposit slip shall be given to the customer. The other copy of the deposit slip shall be secured in the cashier's cash drawer.

(vi) The cashier shall verify the customer's balance before completing the transaction. The cashier shall secure the funds in their cash drawer and return the account access card to the customer.

(vii) Alternatively, if a kiosk is utilized to accept a deposit of credits, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that safeguard the integrity of the kiosk system.

(6) Prize standards. (i) Winners at the gaming machines may receive cash, prizes redeemable for cash or merchandise.

(ii) If merchandise prizes are to be awarded, the specific type of prize or prizes that may be won shall be disclosed to the player before the game begins.

(iii) The redemption period of account access cards, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall be conspicuously posted in the gaming operation.

(7) Credit withdrawal. The customer shall present their account access card to a cashier to withdraw their credits. The cashier shall perform the following:

(i) Scan the account access card;

(ii) Request the customer to enter their PIN, if the PIN was selected by the customer;

(iii) The cashier shall ascertain the amount the customer wishes to withdraw and enter the amount into the computer; Start Printed Page 43419

(iv) A multi-part withdrawal slip shall be generated by the point of sale receipt printer. The cashier shall direct the customer to sign the withdrawal slip;

(v) The cashier shall verify that the account access card and the customer match by:

(A) Comparing the customer to image on the computer screen;

(B) Comparing the customer to image on customer's picture ID; or

(C) Comparing the customer signature on the withdrawal slip to signature on the computer screen.

(vi) The cashier shall verify the customer's balance before completing the transaction. The cashier shall pay the customer the appropriate amount, issue the customer the original withdrawal slip and return the account access card to the customer;

(vii) The copy of the withdrawal slip shall be placed in the cash drawer. All account transactions shall be accurately tracked by the account server computer system. The copy of the withdrawal slip shall be forwarded to the accounting department at the end of the gaming day; and

(viii) In the event the imaging function is temporarily disabled, customers shall be required to provide positive ID for cash withdrawal transactions at the cashier stations.

(p) Smart cards. All smart cards (i.e., cards that possess the means to electronically store and retrieve data) that maintain the only source of account data are prohibited.

What are the minimum internal control standards for the cage?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Personal checks, cashier's checks, payroll checks, and counter checks. (1) If personal checks, cashier's checks, payroll checks, or counter checks are cashed at the cage, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with appropriate controls for purposes of security and integrity.

(2) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures for the acceptance of personal checks, collecting and recording checks returned to the gaming operation after deposit, re-deposit, and write-off authorization.

(3) When counter checks are issued, the following shall be included on the check:

(i) The customer's name and signature;

(ii) The dollar amount of the counter check (both alpha and numeric);

(iii) Customer's bank name and bank account number;

(iv) Date of issuance; and

(v) Signature or initials of the person approving the counter check transaction.

(4) When traveler's checks or other guaranteed drafts such as cashier's checks are presented, the cashier shall comply with the examination and documentation procedures as required by the issuer.

(c) Customer deposited funds. If a gaming operation permits a customer to deposit funds with the gaming operation at the cage, the following standards shall apply.

(1) The receipt or withdrawal of a customer deposit shall be evidenced by at least a two-part document with one copy going to the customer and one copy remaining in the cage file.

(2) The multi-part receipt shall contain the following information:

(i) Same receipt number on all copies;

(ii) Customer's name and signature;

(iii) Date of receipt and withdrawal;

(iv) Dollar amount of deposit/withdrawal; and

(v) Nature of deposit (cash, check, chips); however,

(vi) Provided all of the information in paragraph (c)(2)(i) through (v) is available, the only required information for all copies of the receipt is the receipt number.

(3) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that:

(i) Maintain a detailed record by customer name and date of all funds on deposit;

(ii) Maintain a current balance of all customer cash deposits that are in the cage/vault inventory or accountability; and

(iii) Reconcile this current balance with the deposits and withdrawals at least daily.

(4) The gaming operation, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall describe the sequence of the required signatures attesting to the accuracy of the information contained on the customer deposit or withdrawal form ensuring that the form is signed by the cashier.

(5) All customer deposits and withdrawal transactions at the cage shall be recorded on a cage accountability form on a per-shift basis.

(6) Only cash, cash equivalents, chips, and tokens shall be accepted from customers for the purpose of a customer deposit.

(7) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that verify the customer's identity, including photo identification.

(8) A file for customers shall be prepared prior to acceptance of a deposit.

(d) Cage and vault accountability standards. (1) All transactions that flow through the cage shall be summarized on a cage accountability form on a per shift basis and shall be supported by documentation.

(2) The cage and vault (including coin room) inventories shall be counted by the oncoming and outgoing cashiers. These employees shall make individual counts for comparison of accuracy and maintenance of individual accountability. Such counts shall be recorded at the end of each shift during which activity took place. All discrepancies shall be noted and investigated.

(3) The gaming operation cash-on-hand shall include, but is not limited to, the following components:

(i) Currency and coins;

(ii) House chips, including reserve chips;

(iii) Personal checks, cashier's checks, counter checks, and traveler's checks for deposit;

(iv) Customer deposits;

(v) Chips on tables;

(vi) Hopper loads (coins put into machines when they are placed in service); and

(vii) Fills and credits (these documents shall be treated as assets and liabilities, respectively, of the cage during a business day. When win or loss is recorded at the end of the business day, they are removed from the accountability).

(4) The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with a minimum bankroll formula to ensure the gaming operation maintains cash or cash equivalents (on hand and in the bank, if readily accessible) in an amount sufficient to satisfy obligations to the gaming operation's customers as they are incurred. A suggested bankroll Start Printed Page 43420formula will be provided by the Commission upon request.

(e) Chip and token standards. The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures for the receipt, inventory, storage, and destruction of gaming chips and tokens.

(f) Coupon standards. Any program for the exchange of coupons for chips, tokens, and/or another coupon program shall be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority prior to implementation. If approved, the gaming operation shall establish and comply with procedures that account for and control such programs.

(g) Accounting/auditing standards. (1) The cage accountability shall be reconciled to the general ledger at least monthly.

(2) A trial balance of gaming operation accounts receivable, including the name of the customer and current balance, shall be prepared at least monthly for active, inactive, settled or written-off accounts.

(3) The trial balance of gaming operation accounts receivable shall be reconciled to the general ledger each month. The reconciliation and any follow-up performed shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(4) On a monthly basis an evaluation of the collection percentage of credit issued to identify unusual trends shall be performed.

(5) All cage and credit accounting procedures and any follow-up performed shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(h) Extraneous items. The Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures to address the transporting of extraneous items, such as coats, purses, and/or boxes, into and out of the cage, coin room, count room, and/or vault.

What are the minimum internal control standards for credit?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Credit standards. The following standards shall apply if the gaming operation authorizes and extends credit to customers:

(1) At least the following information shall be recorded for customers that have credit limits or are issued credit (excluding personal checks, payroll checks, cashier's checks, and traveler's checks):

(i) Customer's name, current address, and signature;

(ii) Identification verifications;

(iii) Authorized credit limit;

(iv) Documentation of authorization by a person designated by management to approve credit limits; and

(v) Credit issuances and payments.

(2) Prior to extending credit, the customer's gaming operation credit record and/or other documentation shall be examined to determine the following:

(i) Properly authorized credit limit;

(ii) Whether remaining credit is sufficient to cover the credit issuance; and

(iii) Identity of the customer (except for known customers).

(3) Credit extensions over a specified dollar amount shall be approved by personnel designated by management.

(4) Proper approval of credit extensions over ten percent (10%) of the previously established limit shall be documented.

(5) The job functions of credit approval (i.e., establishing the customer's credit worthiness) and credit extension (i.e., advancing customer's credit) shall be segregated for credit extensions to a single customer of $10,000 or more per day (applies whether the credit is extended in the pit or the cage).

(6) If cage credit is extended to a single customer in an amount exceeding $2,500, appropriate gaming personnel shall be notified on a timely basis of the customers playing on cage credit, the applicable amount of credit issued, and the available balance.

(7) Cage marker forms shall be at least two parts (the original marker and a payment slip), prenumbered by the printer or concurrently numbered by the computerized system, and utilized in numerical sequence.

(8) The completed original cage marker shall contain at least the following information:

(i) Marker number;

(ii) Player's name and signature; and

(iii) Amount of credit issued (both alpha and numeric).

(9) The completed payment slip shall include the same marker number as the original, date and time of payment, amount of payment, nature of settlement (cash, chips, etc.), and signature of cashier receiving the payment.

(c) Payment standards. (1) All payments received on outstanding credit instruments shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation in the gaming operation's records.

(2) When partial payments are made on credit instruments, they shall be evidenced by a multi-part receipt (or another equivalent document) that contains:

(i) The same preprinted number on all copies;

(ii) Customer's name;

(iii) Date of payment;

(iv) Dollar amount of payment (or remaining balance if a new marker is issued), and nature of settlement (cash, chips, etc.);

(v) Signature of employee receiving payment; and

(vi) Number of credit instrument on which partial payment is being made.

(3) Unless account balances are routinely confirmed on a random basis by the accounting or internal audit departments, or statements are mailed by a person independent of the credit transactions and collections thereon, and the department receiving payments cannot access cash, then the following standards shall apply:

(i) The routing procedures for payments by mail require that they be received by a department independent of credit instrument custody and collection;

(ii) Such receipts by mail shall be documented on a listing indicating the customer's name, amount of payment, nature of payment (if other than a check), and date payment received; and

(iii) The total amount of the listing of mail receipts shall be reconciled with the total mail receipts recorded on the appropriate accountability form by the accounting department on a random basis (for at least three (3) days per month).

(d) Access to credit documentation. (1) Access to credit documentation shall be restricted as follows:

(i) The credit information shall be restricted to those positions that require access and are so authorized by management;

(ii) Outstanding credit instruments shall be restricted to persons authorized by management; and

(iii) Written-off credit instruments shall be further restricted to persons specified by management.

(2) [Reserved]

(e) Maintenance of credit documentation. (1) All extensions of cage credit, pit credit transferred to the cage, and subsequent payments shall be documented on a credit instrument control form. Start Printed Page 43421

(2) Records of all correspondence, transfers to and from outside agencies, and other documents related to issued credit instruments shall be maintained.

(f) Write-off and settlement standards. (1) Written-off or settled credit instruments shall be authorized in writing.

(2) Such authorizations shall be made by at least two management officials who are from departments independent of the credit transaction.

(g) Collection agency standards. (1) If credit instruments are transferred to collection agencies or other collection representatives, a copy of the credit instrument and a receipt from the collection representative shall be obtained and maintained until the original credit instrument is returned or payment is received.

(2) A person independent of credit transactions and collections shall periodically review the documents in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(h) Accounting/auditing standards. (1) A person independent of the cage, credit, and collection functions shall perform all of the following at least three (3) times per year:

(i) Ascertain compliance with credit limits and other established credit issuance procedures;

(ii) Randomly reconcile outstanding balances of both active and inactive accounts on the accounts receivable listing to individual credit records and physical instruments;

(iii) Examine credit records to determine that appropriate collection efforts are being made and payments are being properly recorded; and

(iv) For a minimum of five (5) days per month, partial payment receipts shall be subsequently reconciled to the total payments recorded by the cage for the day and shall be numerically accounted for.

(2) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for information technology?

(a) General controls for gaming hardware and software. (1) Management shall take an active role in making sure that physical and logical security measures are implemented, maintained, and adhered to by personnel to prevent unauthorized access that could cause errors or compromise data or processing integrity.

(i) Management shall ensure that all new gaming vendor hardware and software agreements/contracts contain language requiring the vendor to adhere to tribal internal control standards applicable to the goods and services the vendor is providing.

(ii) Physical security measures shall exist over computer, computer terminals, and storage media to prevent unauthorized access and loss of integrity of data and processing.

(iii) Access to systems software and application programs shall be limited to authorized personnel.

(iv) Access to computer data shall be limited to authorized personnel.

(v) Access to computer communications facilities, or the computer system, and information transmissions shall be limited to authorized personnel.

(vi) Standards in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall apply to each applicable department within the gaming operation.

(2) The main computers (i.e., hardware, software, and data files) for each gaming application (e.g., keno, race and sports, gaming machines, etc.) shall be in a secured area with access restricted to authorized persons, including vendors.

(3) Access to computer operations shall be restricted to authorized personnel to reduce the risk of loss of integrity of data or processing.

(4) Incompatible duties shall be adequately segregated and monitored to prevent error in general information technology procedures to go undetected or fraud to be concealed.

(5) Non-information technology personnel shall be precluded from having unrestricted access to the secured computer areas.

(6) The computer systems, including application software, shall be secured through the use of passwords or other approved means where applicable. Management personnel or persons independent of the department being controlled shall assign and control access to system functions.

(7) Passwords shall be controlled as follows unless otherwise addressed in the standards in this section.

(i) Each user shall have their own individual password;

(ii) Passwords shall be changed at least quarterly with changes documented; and

(iii) For computer systems that automatically force a password change on a quarterly basis, documentation shall be maintained listing the systems and the date the user was given access.

(8) Adequate backup and recovery procedures shall be in place that include:

(i) Frequent backup of data files;

(ii) Backup of all programs;

(iii) Secured off-site storage of all backup data files and programs, or other adequate protection; and

(iv) Recovery procedures, which are tested on a sample basis at least annually with documentation of results.

(9) Adequate information technology system documentation shall be maintained, including descriptions of hardware and software, operator manuals, etc.

(b) Independence of information technology personnel. (1) The information technology personnel shall be independent of the gaming areas (e.g., cage, pit, count rooms, etc.). Information technology personnel procedures and controls should be documented and responsibilities communicated.

(2) Information technology personnel shall be precluded from unauthorized access to:

(i) Computers and terminals located in gaming areas;

(ii) Source documents; and

(iii) Live data files (not test data).

(3) Information technology personnel shall be restricted from:

(i) Having unauthorized access to cash or other liquid assets; and

(ii) Initiating general or subsidiary ledger entries.

(c) Gaming program changes. (1) Program changes for in-house developed systems should be documented as follows:

(i) Requests for new programs or program changes shall be reviewed by the information technology supervisor. Approvals to begin work on the program shall be documented;

(ii) A written plan of implementation for new and modified programs shall be maintained, and shall include, at a minimum, the date the program is to be placed into service, the nature of the change, a description of procedures required in order to bring the new or modified program into service (conversion or input of data, installation procedures, etc.), and an indication of who is to perform all such procedures;

(iii) Testing of new and modified programs shall be performed and documented prior to implementation; and

(iv) A record of the final program or program changes, including evidence of user acceptance, date in service, programmer, and reason for changes, shall be documented and maintained.

(2) [Reserved]

(d) Security logs. (1) If computer security logs are generated by the system, they shall be reviewed by information technology supervisory personnel for evidence of:

(i) Multiple attempts to log-on, or alternatively, the system shall deny user access after three attempts to log-on;

(ii) Unauthorized changes to live data files; and Start Printed Page 43422

(iii) Any other unusual transactions.

(2) This paragraph shall not apply to personal computers.

(e) Remote dial-up. (1) If remote dial-up to any associated equipment is allowed for software support, the gaming operation shall maintain an access log that includes:

(i) Name of employee authorizing modem access;

(ii) Name of authorized programmer or manufacturer representative;

(iii) Reason for modem access;

(iv) Description of work performed; and

(v) Date, time, and duration of access.

(2) [Reserved]

(f) Document storage. (1) Documents may be scanned or directly stored to an unalterable storage medium under the following conditions.

(i) The storage medium shall contain the exact duplicate of the original document.

(ii) All documents stored on the storage medium shall be maintained with a detailed index containing the gaming operation department and date. This index shall be available upon request by the Commission.

(iii) Upon request and adequate notice by the Commission, hardware (terminal, printer, etc.) shall be made available in order to perform auditing procedures.

(iv) Controls shall exist to ensure the accurate reproduction of records up to and including the printing of stored documents used for auditing purposes.

(v) The storage medium shall be retained for a minimum of five years.

(vi) Original documents must be retained until the books and records have been audited by an independent certified public accountant.

(2) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for complimentary services or items?

(a) Each Tribal gaming regulatory authority or gaming operation shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures for the authorization, issuance, and tracking of complimentary services and items, including cash and non-cash gifts. Such procedures must be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority and shall include, but shall not be limited to, the procedures by which the gaming operation delegates to its employees the authority to approve the issuance of complimentary services and items, and the procedures by which conditions or limits, if any, which may apply to such authority are established and modified (including limits based on relationships between the authorizer and recipient), and shall further include effective provisions for audit purposes.

(b) At least monthly, accounting, information technology, or audit personnel that cannot grant or receive complimentary privileges shall prepare reports that include the following information:

(1) Name of customer who received the complimentary service or item;

(2) Name(s) of authorized issuer of the complimentary service or item;

(3) The actual cash value of the complimentary service or item;

(4) The type of complimentary service or item (i.e., food, beverage, etc.); and

(5) Date the complimentary service or item was issued.

(c) The report required by paragraph (b) of this section shall not be required to include complimentary services or items below a reasonable amount to be established by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(d) The internal audit or accounting departments shall review the reports required in paragraph (b) of this section at least monthly. These reports shall be made available to the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, other entity designated by the Tribe, and the Commission upon request.

How does a gaming operation apply for a variance from the standards of this part?

(a) Tribal gaming regulatory authority approval. (1) A Tribal gaming regulatory authority may approve a variance for a gaming operation if it has determined that the variance will achieve a level of control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of the standard it is to replace.

(2) For each enumerated standard for which the Tribal gaming regulatory authority approves a variance, it shall submit to the Commission, within thirty (30) days, a detailed report, which shall include the following:

(i) A detailed description of the variance;

(ii) An explanation of how the variance achieves a level of control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of the standard it is to replace; and

(iii) Evidence that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority has approved the variance.

(3) In the event that the Tribal gaming regulatory authority or the Tribe chooses to submit a variance request directly to the Commission, it may do so without the approval requirement set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section.

(b) Commission concurrence. (1) Following receipt of the variance approval, the Commission shall have sixty (60) days to concur with or object to the approval of the variance.

(2) Any objection raised by the Commission shall be in the form of a written explanation based upon the following criteria:

(i) There is no valid explanation of why the gaming operation should have received a variance approval from the Tribal gaming regulatory authority on the enumerated standard; or

(ii) The variance as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority does not provide a level of control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of the standard it is to replace.

(3) If the Commission fails to object in writing within sixty (60) days after the date of receipt of a complete submission, the variance shall be considered concurred with by the Commission.

(4) The 60-day deadline may be extended, provided such extension is mutually agreed upon by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority and the Commission.

(c) Curing Commission objections. (1) Following an objection by the Commission to the issuance of a variance, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall have the opportunity to cure any objections noted by the Commission.

(2) A Tribal gaming regulatory authority may cure the objections raised by the Commission by:

(i) Rescinding its initial approval of the variance; or

(ii) Amending its initial approval and re-submitting it to the Commission.

(3) Upon any re-submission of a variance approval, the Commission shall have thirty (30) days to concur with or object to the re-submitted variance.

(4) If the Commission fails to object in writing within thirty (30) days after the date of receipt of the re-submitted variance, the re-submitted variance shall be considered concurred with by the Commission.

(d) Appeals. (1) Upon receipt of objections to a re-submission of a variance, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall be entitled to an appeal to the full Commission in accordance with the following process:

(i) Within thirty (30) days of receiving an objection to a re-submission, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall file its notice of appeal.

(ii) Failure to file an appeal within the time provided by this section shall result in a waiver of the opportunity for an appeal.

(iii) An appeal under this section shall specify the reasons why the Tribal gaming regulatory authority believes the Start Printed Page 43423Commission's objections should be reviewed, and shall include supporting documentation, if any.

(iv) Within thirty (30) days after receipt of the appeal, the Commission shall render a decision based upon the criteria contained within paragraph (b)(2) of this section unless the appellant elects to provide the Commission additional time, not to exceed an additional thirty (30) days, to render a decision.

(v) In the absence of a decision within the time provided, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority's re-submission shall be considered concurred with by the Commission and become effective.

(2) [Reserved]

(e) Effective date of variance. The gaming operation shall comply with standards that achieve a level of control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of the standard it is to replace until such time as the Commission objects to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority's approval of a variance as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

What is a Tier A gaming operation?

A Tier A gaming operation is one with annual gross gaming revenues of more than $1 million but not more than $5 million.

What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier A gaming operations?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Table game drop standards. (1) The setting out of empty table game drop boxes and the drop shall be a continuous process.

(2) At the end of each shift:

(i) All locked table game drop boxes shall be removed from the tables by a person independent of the pit shift being dropped;

(ii) A separate drop box shall be placed on each table opened at any time during each shift or a gaming operation may utilize a single drop box with separate openings and compartments for each shift; and

(iii) Upon removal from the tables, table game drop boxes shall be transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(3) If drop boxes are not placed on all tables, then the pit department shall document which tables were open during the shift.

(4) The transporting of table game drop boxes shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is independent of the pit shift being dropped.

(5) All table game drop boxes shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming table and marked to indicate game, table number, and shift.

(c) Soft count room personnel. (1) The table game soft count and the gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed by a minimum of two employees.

(2) Count room personnel shall not be allowed to exit or enter the count room during the count except for emergencies or scheduled breaks. At no time during the count, shall there be fewer than two employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability.

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same two persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than two persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, however, a dealer or a cage cashier may be used if this person is not allowed to perform the recording function. An accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all soft count documentation.

(d) Table game soft count standards. (1) The table game soft count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The table game drop boxes shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between boxes until the count of the box has been recorded.

(i) The count of each box shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change, unless the count team only has two (2) members in which case the initials of only one (1) verifying member is required.

(5) If cash counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty boxes and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all cash at the cash counter, including rejected cash.

(6) Table game drop boxes, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, or to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance.

(7) Orders for fill/credit (if applicable) shall be matched to the fill/credit slips. Fills and credits shall be traced to or recorded on the count sheet.

(8) Pit marker issue and payment slips (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall either be:

(i) Traced to or recorded on the count sheet by the count team; or

(ii) Totaled by shift and traced to the totals documented by the computerized system. Accounting personnel shall verify the issue/payment slip for each table is accurate.

(9) Foreign currency exchange forms (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall be reviewed for the proper daily exchange rate and the conversion amount shall be recomputed by the count team. Alternatively, this may be performed by accounting/auditing employees.

(10) The opening/closing table and marker inventory forms (if applicable) shall either be:

(i) Examined and traced to or recorded on the count sheet; or

(ii) If a computerized system is used, accounting personnel can trace the opening/closing table and marker inventory forms to the count sheet. Discrepancies shall be investigated with the findings documented and maintained for inspection.

(11) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(12) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count. Start Printed Page 43424

(13) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(14) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(15) Access to stored, full table game drop boxes shall be restricted to authorized members of the drop and count teams.

(e) Gaming machine bill acceptor drop standards. (1) A minimum of two employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All bill acceptor canisters shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) The bill acceptor canisters shall be removed by a person independent of the gaming machine department then transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(i) Security shall be provided over the bill acceptor canisters removed from the gaming machines and awaiting transport to the count room.

(ii) The transporting of bill acceptor canisters shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(4) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(f) Gaming machine bill acceptor count standards. (1) The gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The bill acceptor canisters shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between canisters until the count of the canister has been recorded.

(i) The count of each canister shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(5) If cash counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty canisters and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all cash at the cash counter, including rejected cash.

(6) Canisters, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, or to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance.

(7) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(8) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(9) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(10) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(11) Access to stored bill acceptor canisters, full or empty, shall be restricted to:

(i) Authorized members of the drop and count teams; and

(ii) Authorized personnel in an emergency for resolution of a problem.

(12) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(g) Gaming machine coin drop standards. (1) A minimum of two employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All drop buckets shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) Security shall be provided over the buckets removed from the gaming machine drop cabinets and awaiting transport to the count room.

(4) As each machine is opened, the contents shall be tagged with its respective machine number if the bucket is not permanently marked with the machine number. The contents shall be transported directly to the area designated for the counting of such drop proceeds. If more than one trip is required to remove the contents of the machines, the filled carts of coins shall be securely locked in the room designed for counting or in another equivalently secure area with comparable controls. There shall be a locked covering on any carts in which the drop route includes passage out of doors.

(i) Alternatively, a smart bucket system that electronically identifies and tracks the gaming machine number, and facilitates the proper recognition of gaming revenue, shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(ii) [Reserved]

(5) Each drop bucket in use shall be:

(i) Housed in a locked compartment separate from any other compartment of the gaming machine and keyed differently than other gaming machine compartments; and

(ii) Identifiable to the gaming machine from which it is removed. If the gaming machine is identified with a removable tag that is placed in the bucket, the tag shall be placed on top of the bucket when it is collected.

(6) Each gaming machine shall have drop buckets into which coins or tokens that are retained by the gaming machine are collected. Drop bucket contents shall not be used to make change or pay hand-paid payouts.

(7) The collection procedures may include procedures for dropping gaming machines that have trays instead of drop buckets. Start Printed Page 43425

(h) Hard count room personnel. (1) The weigh/count shall be performed by a minimum of two employees.

(2) At no time during the weigh/count shall there be fewer than two employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability.

(i) If the gaming machine count is conducted with a continuous mechanical count meter that is not reset during the count and is verified in writing by at least two employees at the start and end of each denomination count, then one employee may perform the wrap.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same two persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than two persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, unless they are non-supervisory gaming machine employees and perform the laborer function only (A non-supervisory gaming machine employee is defined as a person below the level of gaming machine shift supervisor). A cage cashier may be used if this person is not allowed to perform the recording function. An accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all count documentation.

(i) Gaming machine coin count and wrap standards. (1) Coins shall include tokens.

(2) The gaming machine coin count and wrap shall be performed in a count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(i) Alternatively, an on-the-floor drop system utilizing a mobile scale shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The gaming operation shall utilize and maintain an effective on-line gaming machine monitoring system, as described in § 542.13(m)(3);

(B) Components of the on-the-floor drop system shall include, but not be limited to, a weigh scale, a laptop computer through which weigh/count applications are operated, a security camera available for the mobile scale system, and a VCR to be housed within the video compartment of the mobile scale. The system may include a mule cart used for mobile weigh scale system locomotion.

(C) The gaming operation must obtain the security camera available with the system, and this camera must be added in such a way as to eliminate tampering.

(D) Prior to the drop, the drop/count team shall ensure the scale batteries are charged;

(E) Prior to the drop, a videotape shall be inserted into the VCR used to record the drop in conjunction with the security camera system and the VCR shall be activated;

(F) The weigh scale test shall be performed prior to removing the unit from the hard count room for the start of the weigh/drop/count;

(G) Surveillance shall be notified when the weigh/drop/count begins and shall be capable of monitoring the entire process;

(H) An observer independent of the weigh/drop/count teams (independent observer) shall remain by the weigh scale at all times and shall observe the entire weigh/drop/count process;

(I) Physical custody of the key(s) needed to access the laptop and video compartment shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the drop and count team;

(J) The mule key (if applicable), the laptop and video compartment keys, and the remote control for the VCR shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department. The appropriate personnel shall sign out these keys;

(K) A person independent of the weigh/drop/count teams shall be required to accompany these keys while they are checked out, and observe each time the laptop compartment is opened;

(L) The laptop access panel shall not be opened outside the hard count room, except in instances when the laptop must be rebooted as a result of a crash, lock up, or other situation requiring immediate corrective action;

(M) User access to the system shall be limited to those employees required to have full or limited access to complete the weigh/drop/count; and

(N) When the weigh/drop/count is completed, the independent observer shall access the laptop compartment, end the recording session, eject the videotape, and deliver the videotape to surveillance.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(4) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(5) The following functions shall be performed in the counting of the gaming machine drop:

(i) Recorder function, which involves the recording of the gaming machine count; and

(ii) Count team supervisor function, which involves the control of the gaming machine weigh and wrap process. The supervisor shall not perform the initial recording of the weigh/count unless a weigh scale with a printer is used.

(6) The gaming machine drop shall be counted, wrapped, and reconciled in such a manner to prevent the commingling of gaming machine drop coin with coin (for each denomination) from the next gaming machine drop until the count of the gaming machine drop has been recorded. If the coins are not wrapped immediately after being weighed or counted, they shall be secured and not commingled with other coins.

(i) The amount of the gaming machine drop from each machine shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation on a gaming machine count document by the recorder or mechanically printed by the weigh scale.

(ii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on gaming machine count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(A) If a weigh scale interface is used, corrections to gaming machine count data shall be made using either of the following:

(1) Drawing a single line through the error on the gaming machine document, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an employee independent of the gaming machine department and count team shall enter the correct figure into the computer system prior to the generation of related gaming machine reports; or

(2) During the count process, correct the error in the computer system and enter the passwords of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an exception report shall be generated by the computer system identifying the gaming machine number, the error, the correction, and the count team employees attesting to the correction.

(B) [Reserved] Start Printed Page 43426

(7) If applicable, the weight shall be converted to dollar amounts prior to the reconciliation of the weigh to the wrap.

(8) If a coin meter is used, a count team member shall convert the coin count for each denomination into dollars and shall enter the results on a summary sheet.

(9) The recorder and at least one other count team member shall sign the weigh tape and the gaming machine count document attesting to the accuracy of the weigh/count.

(10) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(11) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(12) All gaming machine count and wrap documentation, including any applicable computer storage media, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashier's department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(13) If the coins are transported off the property, a second (alternative) count procedure shall be performed before the coins leave the property. Any variances shall be documented.

(14) Variances. Large (by denomination, either $1,000 or 2% of the drop, whichever is less) or unusual (e.g., zero for weigh/count or patterned for all counts) variances between the weigh/count and wrap shall be investigated by management personnel independent of the gaming machine department, count team, and the cage/vault functions on a timely basis. The results of such investigation shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(j) Security of the coin room inventory during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) If the count room serves as a coin room and coin room inventory is not secured so as to preclude access by the count team, then the following standards shall apply:

(i) At the commencement of the gaming machine count the following requirements shall be met:

(A) The coin room inventory shall be counted by at least two employees, one of whom is a member of the count team and the other is independent of the weigh/count and wrap procedures;

(B) The count in paragraph (j)(1)(i)(A) of this section shall be recorded on an appropriate inventory form;

(ii) Upon completion of the wrap of the gaming machine drop:

(A) At least two members of the count team (wrap team), independently from each other, shall count the ending coin room inventory;

(B) The counts in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) of this section shall be recorded on a summary report(s) that evidences the calculation of the final wrap by subtracting the beginning inventory from the sum of the ending inventory and transfers in and out of the coin room;

(C) The same count team members shall compare the calculated wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison and noting any variances on the summary report;

(D) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the ending coin room inventory by denomination and shall reconcile it to the beginning inventory, wrap, transfers, and weigh/count; and

(E) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count/wrap team members and the verifying employee shall sign the summary report(s) attesting to its accuracy.

(iii) The functions described in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) and (C) of this section may be performed by only one count team member. That count team member must then sign the summary report, along with the verifying employee, as required under paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(E).

(2) If the count room is segregated from the coin room, or if the coin room is used as a count room and the coin room inventory is secured to preclude access by the count team, all of the following requirements shall be completed, at the conclusion of the count:

(i) At least two members of the count/wrap team shall count the final wrapped gaming machine drop independently from each other;

(ii) The counts shall be recorded on a summary report;

(iii) The same count team members (or the accounting department) shall compare the final wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison, and noting any variances on the summary report;

(iv) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the wrapped gaming machine drop by denomination and reconcile it to the weigh/count;

(v) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count team members and the cage/vault employee shall sign the summary report attesting to its accuracy; and

(vi) The wrapped coins (exclusive of proper transfers) shall be transported to the cage, vault or coin vault after the reconciliation of the weigh/count to the wrap.

(k) Transfers during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) Transfers may be permitted during the count and wrap only if permitted under the internal control standards approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(2) Each transfer shall be recorded on a separate multi-part form with a preprinted or concurrently-printed form number (used solely for gaming machine count transfers) that shall be subsequently reconciled by the accounting department to ensure the accuracy of the reconciled gaming machine drop.

(3) Each transfer must be counted and signed for by at least two members of the count team and by a person independent of the count team who is responsible for authorizing the transfer.

(l) Gaming machine drop key control standards. (1) Gaming machine coin drop cabinet keys, including duplicates, shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) The physical custody of the keys needed to access gaming machine coin drop cabinets, including duplicates, shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(3) Two employees (separate from key custodian) shall be required to accompany such keys while checked out and observe each time gaming machine drop cabinets are accessed.

(m) Table game drop box key control standards. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) Procedures shall be developed and implemented to insure that unauthorized access to empty table game drop boxes shall not occur from the time the boxes leave the storage racks until they are placed on the tables.

(3) The involvement of at least two persons independent of the cage department shall be required to access stored empty table game drop boxes. Start Printed Page 43427

(4) The release keys shall be separately keyed from the contents keys.

(5) At least two count team members are required to be present at the time count room and other count keys are issued for the count.

(6) All duplicate keys shall be maintained in a manner that provides the same degree of control as is required for the original keys. Records shall be maintained for each key duplicated that indicate the number of keys made and destroyed.

(7) Logs shall be maintained by the custodian of sensitive keys to document authorization of personnel accessing keys.

(n) Table game drop box release keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) The table game drop box release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the pit department.

(3) Only the person(s) authorized to remove table game drop boxes from the tables shall be allowed access to the table game drop box release keys; however, the count team members may have access to the release keys during the soft count in order to reset the table game drop boxes.

(4) Persons authorized to remove the table game drop boxes shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the table game drop box contents keys and release keys.

(5) For situations requiring access to a table game drop box at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(o) Bill acceptor canister release keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) The bill acceptor canister release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(3) Only the person(s) authorized to remove bill acceptor canisters from the gaming machines shall be allowed access to the release keys.

(4) Persons authorized to remove the bill acceptor canisters shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the bill acceptor canister contents keys and release keys.

(5) For situations requiring access to a bill acceptor canister at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(p) Table game drop box storage rack keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) Persons authorized to obtain table game drop box storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to table game drop box contents keys, with the exception of the count team.

(q) Bill acceptor canister storage rack keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) Persons authorized to obtain bill acceptor canister storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to bill acceptor canister contents keys, with the exception of the count team.

(r) Table game drop box contents keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full table game drop box contents shall require the involvement of persons from at least two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(3) Access to the table game drop box contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least two persons from separate departments, including management. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(4) Only count team members shall be allowed access to table game drop box contents keys during the count process.

(s) Bill acceptor canister contents keys. (1) Tier A gaming operations shall be exempt from compliance with this paragraph if the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, establishes and the gaming operation complies with procedures that maintain adequate key control and restricts access to the keys.

(2) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full bill acceptor canister contents shall require involvement of persons from two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(3) Access to the bill acceptor canister contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least two persons from separate departments, one of whom must be a supervisor. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(4) Only the count team members shall be allowed access to bill acceptor canister contents keys during the count process.

(t) Emergency drop procedures. Emergency drop procedures shall be developed by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(u) Equipment standards for gaming machine count.

(1) A weigh scale calibration module shall be secured so as to prevent unauthorized access (e.g., prenumbered seal, lock and key, etc.).

(2) A person independent of the cage, vault, gaming machine, and count team functions shall be required to be present whenever the calibration module is accessed. Such access shall be documented and maintained.

(3) If a weigh scale interface is used, it shall be adequately restricted so as to prevent unauthorized access (passwords, keys, etc.).

(4) If the weigh scale has a zero adjustment mechanism, it shall be physically limited to minor adjustments (e.g., weight of a bucket) or physically situated such that any unnecessary adjustments to it during the weigh process would be observed by other count team members.

(5) The weigh scale and weigh scale interface (if applicable) shall be tested by a person or persons independent of the cage, vault, and gaming machine departments and count team at least quarterly. At least annually, this test shall be performed by internal audit in accordance with the internal audit standards. The result of these tests shall be documented and signed by the person or persons performing the test. Start Printed Page 43428

(6) Prior to the gaming machine count, at least two employees shall verify the accuracy of the weigh scale with varying weights or with varying amounts of previously counted coin for each denomination to ensure the scale is properly calibrated (varying weights/coin from drop to drop is acceptable).

(7) If a mechanical coin counter is used (instead of a weigh scale), the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply, with procedures that are equivalent to those described in paragraphs (u)(4), (u)(5), and (u)(6) of this section.

(8) If a coin meter count machine is used, the count team member shall record the machine number denomination and number of coins in ink on a source document, unless the meter machine automatically records such information.

(i) A count team member shall test the coin meter count machine prior to the actual count to ascertain if the metering device is functioning properly with a predetermined number of coins for each denomination.

(ii) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier A gaming operations?

(a) Internal audit personnel. (1) For Tier A gaming operations, a separate internal audit department must be maintained. Alternatively, designating personnel (who are independent with respect to the departments/procedures being examined) to perform internal audit work satisfies the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) The internal audit personnel shall report directly to the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe in accordance with the definition of internal audit in § 542.2.

(b) Audits. (1) Internal audit personnel shall perform audits of all major gaming areas of the gaming operation. The following shall be reviewed at least annually:

(i) Bingo, including but not limited to, bingo card control, payout procedures, and cash reconciliation process;

(ii) Pull tabs, including but not limited to, statistical records, winner verification, perpetual inventory, and accountability of sales versus inventory;

(iii) Card games, including but not limited to, card games operation, cash exchange procedures, shill transactions, and count procedures;

(iv) Keno, including but not limited to, game write and payout procedures, sensitive key location and control, and a review of keno auditing procedures;

(v) Pari-mutual wagering, including write and payout procedures, and pari-mutual auditing procedures;

(vi) Table games, including but not limited to, fill and credit procedures, pit credit play procedures, rim credit procedures, soft drop/count procedures and the subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, location and control over sensitive keys, the tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, and reconciliation to restricted copies;

(vii) Gaming machines, including but not limited to, jackpot payout and gaming machine fill procedures, gaming machine drop/count and bill acceptor drop/count and subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of weigh scale and weigh scale interface, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, gaming machine drop cabinet access, tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, reconciliation to restricted copies, location and control over sensitive keys, compliance with EPROM duplication procedures, and compliance with MICS procedures for gaming machines that accept currency or coin(s) and issue cash-out tickets or gaming machines that do not accept currency or coin(s) and do not return currency or coin(s);

(viii) Cage and credit procedures including all cage, credit, and collection procedures, and the reconciliation of trial balances to physical instruments on a sample basis. Cage accountability shall be reconciled to the general ledger;

(ix) Information technology functions, including review for compliance with information technology standards;

(x) Complimentary service or item, including but not limited to, procedures whereby complimentary service items are issued, authorized, and redeemed; and

(xi) Any other internal audits as required by the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

(2) In addition to the observation and examinations performed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, follow-up observations and examinations shall be performed to verify that corrective action has been taken regarding all instances of noncompliance cited by internal audit, the independent accountant, and/or the Commission. The verification shall be performed within six (6) months following the date of notification.

(3) Whenever possible, internal audit observations shall be performed on an unannounced basis (i.e., without the employees being forewarned that their activities will be observed). Additionally, if the independent accountant also performs the internal audit function, the accountant shall perform separate observations of the table games/gaming machine drops and counts to satisfy the internal audit observation requirements and independent accountant tests of controls as required by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guide.

(c) Documentation. (1) Documentation (e.g., checklists, programs, reports, etc.) shall be prepared to evidence all internal audit work performed as it relates to the requirements in this section, including all instances of noncompliance.

(2) The internal audit department shall operate with audit programs, which, at a minimum, address the MICS. Additionally, the department shall properly document the work performed, the conclusions reached, and the resolution of all exceptions. Institute of Internal Auditors standards are recommended but not required.

(d) Reports. (1) Reports documenting audits performed shall be maintained and made available to the Commission upon request.

(2) Such audit reports shall include the following information:

(i) Audit objectives;

(ii) Audit procedures and scope;

(iii) Findings and conclusions;

(iv) Recommendations, if applicable; and

(v) Management's response.

(e) Material exceptions. All material exceptions resulting from internal audit work shall be investigated and resolved with the results of such being documented and retained for five years.

(f) Role of management. (1) Internal audit findings shall be reported to management.

(2) Management shall be required to respond to internal audit findings stating corrective measures to be taken to avoid recurrence of the audit exception.

(3) Such management responses shall be included in the internal audit report that will be delivered to management, the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for Tier A gaming operations?

(a) Tier A gaming operations must, at a minimum, maintain and operate an unstaffed surveillance system in a Start Printed Page 43429secured location whereby the areas under surveillance are continually recorded.

(b) The entrance to the secured location shall be located so that it is not readily accessible by either gaming operation employees who work primarily on the casino floor, or the general public.

(c) Access to the secured location shall be limited to surveillance personnel, designated employees, and other persons authorized in accordance with the surveillance department policy. Such policy shall be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(d) The surveillance system shall include date and time generators that possess the capability to display the date and time of recorded events on video and/or digital recordings. The displayed date and time shall not significantly obstruct the recorded view.

(e) The surveillance department shall strive to ensure staff is trained in the use of the equipment, knowledge of the games, and house rules.

(f) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall be installed in a manner that will prevent it from being readily obstructed, tampered with, or disabled by customers or employees.

(g) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall possess the capability of having its picture recorded. The surveillance system shall include sufficient numbers of recorders to simultaneously record multiple gaming and count room activities, and record the views of all dedicated cameras and motion activated dedicated cameras.

(h) Reasonable effort shall be made to repair each malfunction of surveillance system equipment required by the standards in this section within seventy-two (72) hours after the malfunction is discovered. The Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall be notified of any camera(s) that has malfunctioned for more than twenty-four (24) hours.

(1) In the event of a dedicated camera malfunction, the gaming operation and/or the surveillance department shall, upon identification of the malfunction, provide alternative camera coverage or other security measures, such as additional supervisory or security personnel, to protect the subject activity.

(2) [Reserved]

(i) Bingo. The surveillance system shall record the bingo ball drawing device, the game board, and the activities of the employees responsible for drawing, calling, and entering the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(j) Card games. The surveillance system shall record the general activities in each card room and be capable of identifying the employees performing the different functions.

(k) Keno. The surveillance system shall record the keno ball-drawing device, the general activities in each keno game area, and be capable of identifying the employees performing the different functions.

(l) Table games. (1) Operations with four (4) or more table games. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (l)(3), (l)(4), and (l)(5) of this section, the surveillance system of gaming operations operating four (4) or more table games shall provide at a minimum one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per two (2) tables and surveillance must be capable of taping:

(i) With sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealers; and

(ii) With sufficient coverage and clarity to simultaneously view the table bank and determine the configuration of wagers, card values, and game outcome.

(iii) One (1) dedicated camera per table and one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per four (4) tables may be an acceptable alternative procedure to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) Operations with three (3) or fewer table games. The surveillance system of gaming operations operating three (3) or fewer table games shall:

(i) Comply with the requirements of paragraph (l)(1) of this section; or

(ii) Have one (1) overhead camera at each table.

(3) Craps. All craps tables shall have two (2) dedicated cross view cameras covering both ends of the table.

(4) Roulette. All roulette areas shall have one (1) overhead dedicated camera covering the roulette wheel and shall also have one (1) dedicated camera covering the play of the table.

(5) Big wheel. All big wheel games shall have one (1) dedicated camera viewing the wheel.

(m) Progressive table games. (1) Progressive table games with a progressive jackpot of $25,000 or more shall be recorded by dedicated cameras that provide coverage of:

(i) The table surface, sufficient that the card values and card suits can be clearly identified;

(ii) An overall view of the entire table with sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealer; and

(iii) A view of the progressive meter jackpot amount. If several tables are linked to the same progressive jackpot meter, only one meter need be recorded.

(2) [Reserved]

(n) Gaming machines. (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (n)(2) and (n)(3) of this section, gaming machines offering a payout of more than $250,000 shall be recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(2) In-house progressive machine. In-house progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount (jackpot reset amount) of more than $100,000 shall be recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(3) Wide-area progressive machine. Wide-area progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount of more than $1.5 million and monitored by an independent vendor utilizing an on-line progressive computer system shall be recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (n)(1) of this section, if the gaming machine is a multi-game machine, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation subject to the approval of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, may develop and implement alternative procedures to verify payouts.

(o) Currency and coin. The surveillance system shall record a general overview of all areas where currency or coin may be stored or counted.

(p) Video recording and/or digital record retention. (1) All video recordings and/or digital records of coverage provided by the dedicated cameras or motion-activated dedicated cameras required by the standards in this section shall be retained for a minimum of seven (7) days.

(2) Recordings involving suspected or confirmed gaming crimes, unlawful activity, or detentions by security personnel, must be retained for a minimum of thirty (30) days.

(3) Duly authenticated copies of video recordings and/or digital records shall be provided to the Commission upon request.

(q) Video library log. A video library log, or comparable alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall be maintained to demonstrate compliance Start Printed Page 43430with the storage, identification, and retention standards required in this section.

(r) Malfunction and repair log. (1) Surveillance personnel shall maintain a log or alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority that documents each malfunction and repair of the surveillance system as defined in this section.

(2) The log shall state the time, date, and nature of each malfunction, the efforts expended to repair the malfunction, and the date of each effort, the reasons for any delays in repairing the malfunction, the date the malfunction is repaired, and where applicable, any alternative security measures that were taken.

What is a Tier B gaming operation?

A Tier B gaming operation is one with gross gaming revenues of more than $5 million but not more than $15 million.

What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier B gaming operations?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Table game drop standards. (1) The setting out of empty table game drop boxes and the drop shall be a continuous process.

(2) At the end of each shift:

(i) All locked table game drop boxes shall be removed from the tables by a person independent of the pit shift being dropped;

(ii) A separate drop box shall be placed on each table opened at any time during each shift or a gaming operation may utilize a single drop box with separate openings and compartments for each shift; and

(iii) Upon removal from the tables, table game drop boxes shall be transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(3) If drop boxes are not placed on all tables, then the pit department shall document which tables were open during the shift.

(4) The transporting of table game drop boxes shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is independent of the pit shift being dropped.

(5) All table game drop boxes shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming table and marked to indicate game, table number, and shift.

(6) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin so that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(c) Soft count room personnel. (1) The table game soft count and the gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed by a minimum of two employees.

(i) The count shall be viewed live, or on video recording and/or digital record, within seven (7) days by an employee independent of the count.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) Count room personnel shall not be allowed to exit or enter the count room during the count except for emergencies or scheduled breaks. At no time during the count, shall there be fewer than two employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability. Surveillance shall be notified whenever count room personnel exit or enter the count room during the count.

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same two persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than two persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, however, a dealer or a cage cashier may be used if this person is not allowed to perform the recording function. An accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all soft count documentation.

(d) Table game soft count standards. (1) The table game soft count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The table game drop boxes shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between boxes until the count of the box has been recorded.

(i) The count of each box shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change, unless the count team only has two (2) members in which case the initials of only one (1) verifying count team member is required.

(5) If currency counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty boxes and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all currency at the currency counter, including rejected currency.

(6) Table game drop boxes, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, or to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance, provided the count is monitored in its entirety by a person independent of the count.

(7) Orders for fill/credit (if applicable) shall be matched to the fill/credit slips. Fills and credits shall be traced to or recorded on the count sheet.

(8) Pit marker issue and payment slips (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall either be:

(i) Traced to or recorded on the count sheet by the count team; or

(ii) Totaled by shift and traced to the totals documented by the computerized system. Accounting personnel shall verify the issue/payment slip for each table is accurate.

(9) Foreign currency exchange forms (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall be reviewed for the proper daily exchange rate and the conversion amount shall be recomputed by the count team. Alternatively, this may be performed by accounting/auditing employees.

(10) The opening/closing table and marker inventory forms (if applicable) shall either be:

(i) Examined and traced to or recorded on the count sheet; or

(ii) If a computerized system is used, accounting personnel can trace the opening/closing table and marker inventory forms to the count sheet. Discrepancies shall be investigated with the findings documented and maintained for inspection.

(11) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count Start Printed Page 43431team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(12) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(13) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(14) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(15) Access to stored, full table game drop boxes shall be restricted to authorized members of the drop and count teams.

(e) Gaming machine bill acceptor drop standards. (1) A minimum of two employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All bill acceptor canisters shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin so that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(4) The bill acceptor canisters shall be removed by a person independent of the gaming machine department then transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(i) Security shall be provided over the bill acceptor canisters removed from the gaming machines and awaiting transport to the count room.

(ii) The transporting of bill acceptor canisters shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(5) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(f) Gaming machine bill acceptor count standards. (1) The gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The bill acceptor canisters shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between canisters until the count of the canister has been recorded.

(i) The count of each canister shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(5) If currency counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty canisters and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all currency at the currency counter, including rejected currency.

(6) Canisters, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance, provided that the count is monitored in its entirety by a person independent of the count.

(7) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(8) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(9) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(10) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(11) Access to stored bill acceptor canisters, full or empty, shall be restricted to:

(i) Authorized members of the drop and count teams; and

(ii) Authorized personnel in an emergency for the resolution of a problem.

(12) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(g) Gaming machine coin drop standards. (1) A minimum of two employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All drop buckets shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin in order that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(4) Security shall be provided over the buckets removed from the gaming machine drop cabinets and awaiting transport to the count room.

(5) As each machine is opened, the contents shall be tagged with its respective machine number if the bucket is not permanently marked with the machine number. The contents shall be transported directly to the area designated for the counting of such drop proceeds. If more than one trip is required to remove the contents of the machines, the filled carts of coins shall be securely locked in the room designed for counting or in another equivalently secure area with comparable controls. There shall be a locked covering on any carts in which the drop route includes passage out of doors.

(i) Alternatively, a smart bucket system that electronically identifies and tracks the gaming machine number, and facilitates the proper recognition of gaming revenue, shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) Each drop bucket in use shall be:

(i) Housed in a locked compartment separate from any other compartment of the gaming machine and keyed differently than other gaming machine compartments; and

(ii) Identifiable to the gaming machine from which it is removed. If the gaming Start Printed Page 43432machine is identified with a removable tag that is placed in the bucket, the tag shall be placed on top of the bucket when it is collected.

(7) Each gaming machine shall have drop buckets into which coins or tokens that are retained by the gaming machine are collected. Drop bucket contents shall not be used to make change or pay hand-paid payouts.

(8) The collection procedures may include procedures for dropping gaming machines that have trays instead of drop buckets.

(h) Hard count room personnel. (1) The weigh/count shall be performed by a minimum of two employees.

(i) The count shall be viewed either live, or on video recording and/or digital record within seven (7) days by an employee independent of the count.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) At no time during the weigh/count shall there be fewer than two employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability. Surveillance shall be notified whenever count room personnel exit or enter the count room during the count.

(i) If the gaming machine count is conducted with a continuous mechanical count meter that is not reset during the count and is verified in writing by at least two employees at the start and end of each denomination count, then one employee may perform the wrap.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same two persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than two persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, unless they are non-supervisory gaming machine employees and perform the laborer function only (A non-supervisory gaming machine employee is defined as a person below the level of gaming machine shift supervisor). A cage cashier may be used if this person is not allowed to perform the recording function. An accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all count documentation.

(i) Gaming machine coin count and wrap standards. (1) Coins shall include tokens.

(2) The gaming machine coin count and wrap shall be performed in a count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(i) Alternatively, an on-the-floor drop system utilizing a mobile scale shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The gaming operation shall utilize and maintain an effective on-line gaming machine monitoring system, as described in § 542.13(m)(3);

(B) Components of the on-the-floor drop system shall include, but not be limited to, a weigh scale, a laptop computer through which weigh/count applications are operated, a security camera available for the mobile scale system, and a VCR to be housed within the video compartment of the mobile scale. The system may include a mule cart used for mobile weigh scale system locomotion.

(C) The gaming operation must obtain the security camera available with the system, and this camera must be added in such a way as to eliminate tampering.

(D) Prior to the drop, the drop/count team shall ensure the scale batteries are charged;

(E) Prior to the drop, a videotape shall be inserted into the VCR used to record the drop in conjunction with the security camera system and the VCR shall be activated;

(F) The weigh scale test shall be performed prior to removing the unit from the hard count room for the start of the weigh/drop/count;

(G) Surveillance shall be notified when the weigh/drop/count begins and shall be capable of monitoring the entire process;

(H) An observer independent of the weigh/drop/count teams (independent observer) shall remain by the weigh scale at all times and shall observe the entire weigh/drop/count process;

(I) Physical custody of the key(s) needed to access the laptop and video compartment shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the drop and count team;

(J) The mule key (if applicable), the laptop and video compartment keys, and the remote control for the VCR shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department. The appropriate personnel shall sign out these keys;

(K) A person independent of the weigh/drop/count teams shall be required to accompany these keys while they are checked out, and observe each time the laptop compartment is opened;

(L) The laptop access panel shall not be opened outside the hard count room, except in instances when the laptop must be rebooted as a result of a crash, lock up, or other situation requiring immediate corrective action;

(M) User access to the system shall be limited to those employees required to have full or limited access to complete the weigh/drop/count; and

(N) When the weigh/drop/count is completed, the independent observer shall access the laptop compartment, end the recording session, eject the videotape, and deliver the videotape to surveillance.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(4) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(5) The following functions shall be performed in the counting of the gaming machine drop:

(i) Recorder function, which involves the recording of the gaming machine count; and

(ii) Count team supervisor function, which involves the control of the gaming machine weigh and wrap process. The supervisor shall not perform the initial recording of the weigh/count unless a weigh scale with a printer is used.

(6) The gaming machine drop shall be counted, wrapped, and reconciled in such a manner to prevent the commingling of gaming machine drop coin with coin (for each denomination) from the next gaming machine drop until the count of the gaming machine drop has been recorded. If the coins are not wrapped immediately after being weighed or counted, they shall be secured and not commingled with other coin.

(i) The amount of the gaming machine drop from each machine shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation on a gaming machine count document by the recorder or mechanically printed by the weigh scale.

(ii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on gaming machine count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(A) If a weigh scale interface is used, corrections to gaming machine count data shall be made using either of the following:

(1) Drawing a single line through the error on the gaming machine document, Start Printed Page 43433writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an employee independent of the gaming machine department and count team shall enter the correct figure into the computer system prior to the generation of related gaming machine reports; or

(2) During the count process, correct the error in the computer system and enter the passwords of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an exception report shall be generated by the computer system identifying the gaming machine number, the error, the correction, and the count team employees attesting to the correction.

(B) [Reserved]

(7) If applicable, the weight shall be converted to dollar amounts before the reconciliation of the weigh to the wrap.

(8) If a coin meter is used, a count team member shall convert the coin count for each denomination into dollars and shall enter the results on a summary sheet.

(9) The recorder and at least one other count team member shall sign the weigh tape and the gaming machine count document attesting to the accuracy of the weigh/count.

(10) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(11) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(12) All gaming machine count and wrap documentation, including any applicable computer storage media, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashier's department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(13) If the coins are transported off the property, a second (alternative) count procedure shall be performed before the coins leave the property. Any variances shall be documented.

(14) Variances. Large (by denomination, either $1,000 or 2% of the drop, whichever is less) or unusual (e.g., zero for weigh/count or patterned for all counts) variances between the weigh/count and wrap shall be investigated by management personnel independent of the gaming machine department, count team, and the cage/vault functions on a timely basis. The results of such investigation shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(j) Security of the coin room inventory during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) If the count room serves as a coin room and coin room inventory is not secured so as to preclude access by the count team, then the following standards shall apply:

(i) At the commencement of the gaming machine count the following requirements shall be met:

(A) The coin room inventory shall be counted by at least two employees, one of whom is a member of the count team and the other is independent of the weigh/count and wrap procedures;

(B) The count in paragraph (j)(1)(i)(A) of this section shall be recorded on an appropriate inventory form;

(ii) Upon completion of the wrap of the gaming machine drop:

(A) At least two members of the count team (wrap team), independently from each other, shall count the ending coin room inventory;

(B) The counts in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) of this section shall be recorded on a summary report(s) that evidences the calculation of the final wrap by subtracting the beginning inventory from the sum of the ending inventory and transfers in and out of the coin room;

(C) The same count team members shall compare the calculated wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison and noting any variances on the summary report;

(D) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the ending coin room inventory by denomination and shall reconcile it to the beginning inventory, wrap, transfers and weigh/count; and

(E) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count/wrap team members and the verifying employee shall sign the summary report(s) attesting to its accuracy.

(iii) The functions described in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) and (C) of this section may be performed by only one count team member. That count team member must then sign the summary report, along with the verifying employee, as required under paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(E).

(2) If the count room is segregated from the coin room, or if the coin room is used as a count room and the coin room inventory is secured to preclude access by the count team, all of the following requirements shall be completed, at the conclusion of the count:

(i) At least two members of the count/wrap team shall count the final wrapped gaming machine drop independently from each other;

(ii) The counts shall be recorded on a summary report;

(iii) The same count team members (or the accounting department) shall compare the final wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison, and noting any variances on the summary report;

(iv) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the wrapped gaming machine drop by denomination and reconcile it to the weigh/count;

(v) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count team members and the cage/vault employee shall sign the summary report attesting to its accuracy; and

(vi) The wrapped coins (exclusive of proper transfers) shall be transported to the cage, vault or coin vault after the reconciliation of the weigh/count to the wrap.

(k) Transfers during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) Transfers may be permitted during the count and wrap only if permitted under the internal control standards approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(2) Each transfer shall be recorded on a separate multi-part form with a preprinted or concurrently-printed form number (used solely for gaming machine count transfers) that shall be subsequently reconciled by the accounting department to ensure the accuracy of the reconciled gaming machine drop.

(3) Each transfer must be counted and signed for by at least two members of the count team and by a person independent of the count team who is responsible for authorizing the transfer.

(l) Gaming machine drop key control standards. (1) Gaming machine coin drop cabinet keys, including duplicates, shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) The physical custody of the keys needed to access gaming machine coin drop cabinets, including duplicates, shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(3) Two employees (separate from key custodian) shall be required to accompany such keys while checked out and observe each time gaming machine drop cabinets are accessed, unless surveillance is notified each time keys are checked out and surveillance Start Printed Page 43434observes the person throughout the period the keys are checked out.

(m) Table game drop box key control standards. (1) Procedures shall be developed and implemented to insure that unauthorized access to empty table game drop boxes shall not occur from the time the boxes leave the storage racks until they are placed on the tables.

(2) The involvement of at least two persons independent of the cage department shall be required to access stored empty table game drop boxes.

(3) The release keys shall be separately keyed from the contents keys.

(4) At least two count team members are required to be present at the time count room and other count keys are issued for the count.

(5) All duplicate keys shall be maintained in a manner that provides the same degree of control as is required for the original keys. Records shall be maintained for each key duplicated that indicate the number of keys made and destroyed.

(6) Logs shall be maintained by the custodian of sensitive keys to document authorization of personnel accessing keys.

(n) Table game drop box release keys. (1) The table game drop box release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the pit department.

(2) Only the person(s) authorized to remove table game drop boxes from the tables shall be allowed access to the table game drop box release keys; however, the count team members may have access to the release keys during the soft count in order to reset the table game drop boxes.

(3) Persons authorized to remove the table game drop boxes shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the table game drop box contents keys and release keys.

(4) For situations requiring access to a table game drop box at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(o) Bill acceptor canister release keys. (1) The bill acceptor canister release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) Only the person(s) authorized to remove bill acceptor canisters from the gaming machines shall be allowed access to the release keys.

(3) Persons authorized to remove the bill acceptor canisters shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the bill acceptor canister contents keys and release keys.

(4) For situations requiring access to a bill acceptor canister at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(p) Table game drop box storage rack keys. Persons authorized to obtain table game drop box storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to table game drop box contents keys with the exception of the count team.

(q) Bill acceptor canister storage rack keys. Persons authorized to obtain bill acceptor canister storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to bill acceptor canister contents keys with the exception of the count team.

(r) Table game drop box contents keys. (1) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full table game drop box contents shall require the involvement of persons from at least two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(2) Access to the table game drop box contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least two persons from separate departments, including management. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(3) Only count team members shall be allowed access to table game drop box contents keys during the count process.

(s) Bill acceptor canister contents keys. (1) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full bill acceptor canister contents shall require involvement of persons from two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(2) Access to the bill acceptor canister contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least two persons from separate departments, one of whom must be a supervisor. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(3) Only the count team members shall be allowed access to bill acceptor canister contents keys during the count process.

(t) Emergency drop procedures. Emergency drop procedures shall be developed by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(u) Equipment standards for gaming machine count. (1) A weigh scale calibration module shall be secured so as to prevent unauthorized access (e.g., prenumbered seal, lock and key, etc.).

(2) A person independent of the cage, vault, gaming machine, and count team functions shall be required to be present whenever the calibration module is accessed. Such access shall be documented and maintained.

(3) If a weigh scale interface is used, it shall be adequately restricted so as to prevent unauthorized access (passwords, keys, etc.).

(4) If the weigh scale has a zero adjustment mechanism, it shall be physically limited to minor adjustments (e.g., weight of a bucket) or physically situated such that any unnecessary adjustments to it during the weigh process would be observed by other count team members.

(5) The weigh scale and weigh scale interface (if applicable) shall be tested by a person or persons independent of the cage, vault, and gaming machine departments and count team at least quarterly. At least annually, this test shall be performed by internal audit in accordance with the internal audit standards. The result of these tests shall be documented and signed by the person or persons performing the test.

(6) Prior to the gaming machine count, at least two employees shall verify the accuracy of the weigh scale with varying weights or with varying amounts of previously counted coin for each denomination to ensure the scale is properly calibrated (varying weights/coin from drop to drop is acceptable).

(7) If a mechanical coin counter is used (instead of a weigh scale), the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that are equivalent to those described in paragraphs (u)(4), (u)(5), and (u)(6) of this section.

(8) If a coin meter count machine is used, the count team member shall record the machine number denomination and number of coins in ink on a source document, unless the meter machine automatically records such information.

(i) A count team member shall test the coin meter count machine before the actual count to ascertain if the metering device is functioning properly with a predetermined number of coins for each denomination.

(ii) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier B gaming operations?

(a) Internal audit personnel. (1) For Tier B gaming operations, a separate internal audit department must be maintained. Alternatively, designating personnel (who are independent with respect to the departments/procedures being examined) to perform internal Start Printed Page 43435audit work satisfies the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) The internal audit personnel shall report directly to the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe in accordance with the definition of internal audit in § 542.2.

(b) Audits. (1) Internal audit personnel shall perform audits of all major gaming areas of the gaming operation. The following shall be reviewed at least annually:

(i) Bingo, including but not limited to, bingo card control, payout procedures, and cash reconciliation process;

(ii) Pull tabs, including but not limited to, statistical records, winner verification, perpetual inventory, and accountability of sales versus inventory;

(iii) Card games, including but not limited to, card games operation, cash exchange procedures, shill transactions, and count procedures;

(iv) Keno, including but not limited to, game write and payout procedures, sensitive key location and control, and a review of keno auditing procedures;

(v) Pari-mutual wagering, including write and payout procedures, and pari-mutual auditing procedures;

(vi) Table games, including but not limited to, fill and credit procedures, pit credit play procedures, rim credit procedures, soft drop/count procedures and the subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, location and control over sensitive keys, the tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, and reconciliation to restricted copies;

(vii) Gaming machines, including but not limited to, jackpot payout and gaming machine fill procedures, gaming machine drop/count and bill acceptor drop/count and subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of weigh scale and weigh scale interface, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, gaming machine drop cabinet access, tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, reconciliation to restricted copies, location and control over sensitive keys, compliance with EPROM duplication procedures, and compliance with MICS procedures for gaming machines that accept currency or coin(s) and issue cash-out tickets or gaming machines that do not accept currency or coin(s) and do not return currency or coin(s);

(viii) Cage and credit procedures including all cage, credit, and collection procedures, and the reconciliation of trial balances to physical instruments on a sample basis. Cage accountability shall be reconciled to the general ledger;

(ix) Information technology functions, including review for compliance with information technology standards;

(x) Complimentary service or item, including but not limited to, procedures whereby complimentary service items are issued, authorized, and redeemed; and

(xi) Any other internal audits as required by the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

(2) In addition to the observation and examinations performed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, follow-up observations and examinations shall be performed to verify that corrective action has been taken regarding all instances of noncompliance cited by internal audit, the independent accountant, and/or the Commission. The verification shall be performed within six (6) months following the date of notification.

(3) Whenever possible, internal audit observations shall be performed on an unannounced basis (i.e., without the employees being forewarned that their activities will be observed). Additionally, if the independent accountant also performs the internal audit function, the accountant shall perform separate observations of the table games/gaming machine drops and counts to satisfy the internal audit observation requirements and independent accountant tests of controls as required by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guide.

(c) Documentation. (1) Documentation (e.g., checklists, programs, reports, etc.) shall be prepared to evidence all internal audit work performed as it relates to the requirements in this section, including all instances of noncompliance.

(2) The internal audit department shall operate with audit programs, which, at a minimum, address the MICS. Additionally, the department shall properly document the work performed, the conclusions reached, and the resolution of all exceptions. Institute of Internal Auditors standards are recommended but not required.

(d) Reports. (1) Reports documenting audits performed shall be maintained and made available to the Commission upon request.

(2) Such audit reports shall include the following information:

(i) Audit objectives;

(ii) Audit procedures and scope;

(iii) Findings and conclusions;

(iv) Recommendations, if applicable; and

(v) Management's response.

(e) Material exceptions. All material exceptions resulting from internal audit work shall be investigated and resolved with the results of such being documented and retained for five years.

(f) Role of management. (1) Internal audit findings shall be reported to management.

(2) Management shall be required to respond to internal audit findings stating corrective measures to be taken to avoid recurrence of the audit exception.

(3) Such management responses shall be included in the internal audit report that will be delivered to management, the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for Tier B gaming operations?

(a) The surveillance system shall be maintained and operated from a staffed surveillance room and shall provide surveillance over gaming areas.

(b) The entrance to the surveillance room shall be located so that it is not readily accessible by either gaming operation employees who work primarily on the casino floor, or the general public.

(c) Access to the surveillance room shall be limited to surveillance personnel, designated employees, and other persons authorized in accordance with the surveillance department policy. Such policy shall be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The surveillance department shall maintain a sign-in log of other authorized persons entering the surveillance room.

(d) Surveillance room equipment shall have total override capability over all other satellite surveillance equipment located outside the surveillance room.

(e) The surveillance system shall include date and time generators that possess the capability to display the date and time of recorded events on video and/or digital recordings. The displayed date and time shall not significantly obstruct the recorded view.

(f) The surveillance department shall strive to ensure staff is trained in the use of the equipment, knowledge of the games, and house rules.

(g) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall be installed in a manner that will prevent it from being readily obstructed, tampered with, or disabled by customers or employees.

(h) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall possess the capability of having its picture Start Printed Page 43436displayed on a monitor and recorded. The surveillance system shall include sufficient numbers of monitors and recorders to simultaneously display and record multiple gaming and count room activities, and record the views of all dedicated cameras and motion activated dedicated cameras.

(i) Reasonable effort shall be made to repair each malfunction of surveillance system equipment required by the standards in this section within seventy-two (72) hours after the malfunction is discovered. The Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall be notified of any camera(s) that has malfunctioned for more than twenty-four (24) hours.

(1) In the event of a dedicated camera malfunction, the gaming operation and/or surveillance department shall immediately provide alternative camera coverage or other security measures, such as additional supervisory or security personnel, to protect the subject activity.

(2) [Reserved]

(j) Bingo. (1) The surveillance system shall possess the capability to monitor the bingo ball drawing device or random number generator, which shall be recorded during the course of the draw by a dedicated camera with sufficient clarity to identify the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(2) The surveillance system shall monitor and record the game board and the activities of the employees responsible for drawing, calling, and entering the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(k) Card games. The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in each card room with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(l) Progressive card games. (1) Progressive card games with a progressive jackpot of $25,000 or more shall be monitored and recorded by dedicated cameras that provide coverage of:

(i) The table surface, sufficient that the card values and card suits can be clearly identified;

(ii) An overall view of the entire table with sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealer; and

(iii) A view of the posted jackpot amount.

(2) [Reserved]

(m) Keno. (1) The surveillance system shall possess the capability to monitor the keno ball-drawing device or random number generator, which shall be recorded during the course of the draw by a dedicated camera with sufficient clarity to identify the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(2) The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in each keno game area with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(n) Pari-mutuel. The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in the pari-mutuel area, to include the ticket writer and cashier areas, with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(o) Table games. (1) Operations with four (4) or more table games. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (o)(3), (o)(4), and (o)(5) of this section, the surveillance system of gaming operations operating four (4) or more table games shall provide at a minimum one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per two (2) tables and surveillance must be capable of taping:

(i) With sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealers; and

(ii) With sufficient coverage and clarity to simultaneously view the table bank and determine the configuration of wagers, card values, and game outcome.

(iii) One (1) dedicated camera per table and one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per four (4) tables may be an acceptable alternative procedure to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) Operations with three (3) or fewer table games. The surveillance system of gaming operations operating three (3) or fewer table games shall:

(i) Comply with the requirements of paragraph (o)(1) of this section; or

(ii) Have one (1) overhead camera at each table.

(3) Craps. All craps tables shall have two (2) dedicated cross view cameras covering both ends of the table.

(4) Roulette. All roulette areas shall have one (1) overhead dedicated camera covering the roulette wheel and shall also have one (1) dedicated camera covering the play of the table.

(5) Big wheel. All big wheel games shall have one (1) dedicated camera viewing the wheel.

(p) Progressive table games. (1) Progressive table games with a progressive jackpot of $25,000 or more shall be monitored and recorded by dedicated cameras that provide coverage of:

(i) The table surface, sufficient that the card values and card suits can be clearly identified;

(ii) An overall view of the entire table with sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealer; and

(iii) A view of the progressive meter jackpot amount. If several tables are linked to the same progressive jackpot meter, only one meter need be recorded.

(2) [Reserved]

(q) Gaming machines. (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (q)(2) and (q)(3) of this section, gaming machines offering a payout of more than $250,000 shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine, and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(2) In-house progressive machine. In-house progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount (jackpot reset amount) of more than $100,000 shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(3) Wide-area progressive machine. Wide-area progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount of more than $1.5 million and monitored by an independent vendor utilizing an on-line progressive computer system shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (q)(1) of this section, if the gaming machine is a multi-game machine, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation subject to the approval of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, may develop and implement alternative procedures to verify payouts.

(r) Cage and vault. (1) The surveillance system shall monitor and record a general overview of activities occurring in each cage and vault area with sufficient clarity to identify employees within the cage and customers and employees at the counter areas.

(2) Each cashier station shall be equipped with one (1) dedicated overhead camera covering the transaction area.

(3) The surveillance system shall provide an overview of cash transactions. This overview should include the customer, the employee, and the surrounding area.

(s) Fills and credits. (1) The cage or vault area in which fills and credits are transacted shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera or motion activated dedicated camera that provides coverage with sufficient clarity Start Printed Page 43437to identify the chip values and the amounts on the fill and credit slips.

(2) Controls provided by a computerized fill and credit system may be deemed an adequate alternative to viewing the fill and credit slips.

(t) Currency and coin. (1) The surveillance system shall monitor and record with sufficient clarity all areas where currency or coin may be stored or counted.

(2) The surveillance system shall provide for:

(i) Coverage of scales shall be sufficiently clear to view any attempted manipulation of the recorded data.

(ii) Monitoring and recording of the table game drop box storage rack or area by either a dedicated camera or a motion-detector activated camera.

(iii) Monitoring and recording of all areas where coin may be stored or counted, including the hard count room, all doors to the hard count room, all scales and wrapping machines, and all areas where uncounted coin may be stored during the drop and count process.

(iv) Monitoring and recording of soft count room, including all doors to the room, all table game drop boxes, safes, and counting surfaces, and all count team personnel. The counting surface area must be continuously monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera during the soft count.

(v) Monitoring and recording of all areas where currency is sorted, stacked, counted, verified, or stored during the soft count process.

(u) Change booths. The surveillance system shall monitor and record a general overview of the activities occurring in each gaming machine change booth.

(v) Video recording and/or digital record retention. (1) All video recordings and/or digital records of coverage provided by the dedicated cameras or motion-activated dedicated cameras required by the standards in this section shall be retained for a minimum of seven (7) days.

(2) Recordings involving suspected or confirmed gaming crimes, unlawful activity, or detentions by security personnel, must be retained for a minimum of thirty (30) days.

(3) Duly authenticated copies of video recordings and/or digital records shall be provided to the Commission upon request.

(w) Video library log. A video library log, or comparable alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall be maintained to demonstrate compliance with the storage, identification, and retention standards required in this section.

(x) Malfunction and repair log. (1) Surveillance personnel shall maintain a log or alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority that documents each malfunction and repair of the surveillance system as defined in this section.

(2) The log shall state the time, date, and nature of each malfunction, the efforts expended to repair the malfunction, and the date of each effort, the reasons for any delays in repairing the malfunction, the date the malfunction is repaired, and where applicable, any alternative security measures that were taken.

(y) Surveillance log. (1) Surveillance personnel shall maintain a log of all surveillance activities.

(2) Such log shall be maintained by surveillance room personnel and shall be stored securely within the surveillance department.

(3) At a minimum, the following information shall be recorded in a surveillance log:

(i) Date;

(ii) Time commenced and terminated;

(iii) Activity observed or performed; and

(iv) The name or license credential number of each person who initiates, performs, or supervises the surveillance.

(4) Surveillance personnel shall also record a summary of the results of the surveillance of any suspicious activity. This summary may be maintained in a separate log.

What is a Tier C gaming operation?

A Tier C gaming operation is one with annual gross gaming revenues of more than $15 million.

What are the minimum internal control standards for drop and count for Tier C gaming operations?

(a) Computer applications. For any computer applications utilized, alternate documentation and/or procedures that provide at least the level of control described by the standards in this section, as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, will be acceptable.

(b) Table game drop standards.

(1) The setting out of empty table game drop boxes and the drop shall be a continuous process.

(2) At the end of each shift:

(i) All locked table game drop boxes shall be removed from the tables by a person independent of the pit shift being dropped;

(ii) A separate drop box shall be placed on each table opened at any time during each shift or a gaming operation may utilize a single drop box with separate openings and compartments for each shift; and

(iii) Upon removal from the tables, table game drop boxes shall be transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(3) If drop boxes are not placed on all tables, then the pit department shall document which tables were open during the shift.

(4) The transporting of table game drop boxes shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is independent of the pit shift being dropped.

(5) All table game drop boxes shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming table and marked to indicate game, table number, and shift.

(6) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin so that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(c) Soft count room personnel. (1) The table game soft count and the gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed by a minimum of three employees.

(2) Count room personnel shall not be allowed to exit or enter the count room during the count except for emergencies or scheduled breaks. At no time during the count, shall there be fewer than three employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability. Surveillance shall be notified whenever count room personnel exit or enter the count room during the count.

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same three persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than three persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, however, an accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all soft count documentation.

(d) Table game soft count standards. (1) The table game soft count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, Start Printed Page 43438supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The table game drop boxes shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between boxes until the count of the box has been recorded.

(i) The count of each box shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(5) If currency counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty boxes and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all currency at the currency counter, including rejected currency.

(6) Table game drop boxes, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, or to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance, provided the count is monitored in its entirety by a person independent of the count.

(7) Orders for fill/credit (if applicable) shall be matched to the fill/credit slips. Fills and credits shall be traced to or recorded on the count sheet.

(8) Pit marker issue and payment slips (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall either be:

(i) Traced to or recorded on the count sheet by the count team; or

(ii) Totaled by shift and traced to the totals documented by the computerized system. Accounting personnel shall verify the issue/payment slip for each table is accurate.

(9) Foreign currency exchange forms (if applicable) removed from the table game drop boxes shall be reviewed for the proper daily exchange rate and the conversion amount shall be recomputed by the count team. Alternatively, this may be performed by accounting/auditing employees.

(10) The opening/closing table and marker inventory forms (if applicable) shall either be:

(i) Examined and traced to or recorded on the count sheet; or

(ii) If a computerized system is used, accounting personnel can trace the opening/closing table and marker inventory forms to the count sheet. Discrepancies shall be investigated with the findings documented and maintained for inspection.

(11) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(12) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(13) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(14) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(15) Access to stored, full table game drop boxes shall be restricted to authorized members of the drop and count teams.

(e) Gaming machine bill acceptor drop standards. (1) A minimum of three employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All bill acceptor canisters shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin so that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(4) The bill acceptor canisters shall be removed by a person independent of the gaming machine department then transported directly to the count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls and locked in a secure manner until the count takes place.

(i) Security shall be provided over the bill acceptor canisters removed from the gaming machines and awaiting transport to the count room.

(ii) The transporting of bill acceptor canisters shall be performed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(5) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(f) Gaming machine bill acceptor count standards. (1) The gaming machine bill acceptor count shall be performed in a soft count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(2) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(3) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(4) The bill acceptor canisters shall be individually emptied and counted in such a manner to prevent the commingling of funds between canisters until the count of the canister has been recorded.

(i) The count of each canister shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation.

(ii) A second count shall be performed by an employee on the count team who did not perform the initial count.

(iii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on soft count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(5) If currency counters are utilized and the count room table is used only to empty canisters and sort/stack contents, a count team member shall be able to observe the loading and unloading of all currency at the currency counter, including rejected currency.

(6) Canisters, when empty, shall be shown to another member of the count team, or to another person who is observing the count, or to surveillance, provided that the count is monitored in its entirety by a person independent of the count.

(7) The count sheet shall be reconciled to the total drop by a count team member who shall not function as the sole recorder.

(8) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(9) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be Start Printed Page 43439turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(10) The count sheet, with all supporting documents, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashiers department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(11) Access to stored bill acceptor canisters, full or empty, shall be restricted to:

(i) Authorized members of the drop and count teams; and

(ii) Authorized personnel in an emergency for the resolution of a problem.

(12) All bill acceptor canisters shall be posted with a number corresponding to a permanent number on the gaming machine.

(g) Gaming machine coin drop standards. (1) A minimum of three employees shall be involved in the removal of the gaming machine drop, at least one of who is independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) All drop buckets shall be removed only at the time previously designated by the gaming operation and reported to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, except for emergency drops.

(3) Surveillance shall be notified when the drop is to begin in order that surveillance may monitor the activities.

(4) Security shall be provided over the buckets removed from the gaming machine drop cabinets and awaiting transport to the count room.

(5) As each machine is opened, the contents shall be tagged with its respective machine number if the bucket is not permanently marked with the machine number. The contents shall be transported directly to the area designated for the counting of such drop proceeds. If more than one trip is required to remove the contents of the machines, the filled carts of coins shall be securely locked in the room designed for counting or in another equivalently secure area with comparable controls. There shall be a locked covering on any carts in which the drop route includes passage out of doors.

(i) Alternatively, a smart bucket system that electronically identifies and tracks the gaming machine number, and facilitates the proper recognition of gaming revenue, shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) Each drop bucket in use shall be:

(i) Housed in a locked compartment separate from any other compartment of the gaming machine and keyed differently than other gaming machine compartments; and

(ii) Identifiable to the gaming machine from which it is removed. If the gaming machine is identified with a removable tag that is placed in the bucket, the tag shall be placed on top of the bucket when it is collected.

(7) Each gaming machine shall have drop buckets into which coins or tokens that are retained by the gaming machine are collected. Drop bucket contents shall not be used to make change or pay hand-paid payouts.

(8) The collection procedures may include procedures for dropping gaming machines that have trays instead of drop buckets.

(h) Hard count room personnel. (1) The weigh/count shall be performed by a minimum of three employees.

(2) At no time during the weigh/count shall there be fewer than three employees in the count room until the drop proceeds have been accepted into cage/vault accountability. Surveillance shall be notified whenever count room personnel exit or enter the count room during the count.

(i) If the gaming machine count is conducted with a continuous mechanical count meter that is not reset during the count and is verified in writing by at least three employees at the start and end of each denomination count, then one employee may perform the wrap.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Count team members shall be rotated on a routine basis such that the count team is not consistently the same three persons more than four (4) days per week. This standard shall not apply to gaming operations that utilize a count team of more than three persons.

(4) The count team shall be independent of transactions being reviewed and counted. The count team shall be independent of the cage/vault departments, unless they are non-supervisory gaming machine employees and perform the laborer function only (A non-supervisory gaming machine employee is defined as a person below the level of gaming machine shift supervisor). A cage cashier may be used if this person is not allowed to perform the recording function. An accounting representative may be used if there is an independent audit of all count documentation.

(i) Gaming machine coin count and wrap standards. (1) Coins shall include tokens.

(2) The gaming machine coin count and wrap shall be performed in a count room or other equivalently secure area with comparable controls.

(i) Alternatively, an on-the-floor drop system utilizing a mobile scale shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The gaming operation shall utilize and maintain an effective on-line gaming machine monitoring system, as described in § 542.13(m)(3);

(B) Components of the on-the-floor drop system shall include, but not be limited to, a weigh scale, a laptop computer through which weigh/count applications are operated, a security camera available for the mobile scale system, and a VCR to be housed within the video compartment of the mobile scale. The system may include a mule cart used for mobile weigh scale system locomotion.

(C) The gaming operation must obtain the security camera available with the system, and this camera must be added in such a way as to eliminate tampering.

(D) Prior to the drop, the drop/count team shall ensure the scale batteries are charged;

(E) Prior to the drop, a videotape shall be inserted into the VCR used to record the drop in conjunction with the security camera system and the VCR shall be activated;

(F) The weigh scale test shall be performed prior to removing the unit from the hard count room for the start of the weigh/drop/count;

(G) Surveillance shall be notified when the weigh/drop/count begins and shall be capable of monitoring the entire process;

(H) An observer independent of the weigh/drop/count teams (independent observer) shall remain by the weigh scale at all times and shall observe the entire weigh/drop/count process;

(I) Physical custody of the key(s) needed to access the laptop and video compartment shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the drop and count team;

(J) The mule key (if applicable), the laptop and video compartment keys, and the remote control for the VCR shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department. The appropriate personnel shall sign out these keys;

(K) A person independent of the weigh/drop/count teams shall be required to accompany these keys while Start Printed Page 43440they are checked out, and observe each time the laptop compartment is opened;

(L) The laptop access panel shall not be opened outside the hard count room, except in instances when the laptop must be rebooted as a result of a crash, lock up, or other situation requiring immediate corrective action;

(M) User access to the system shall be limited to those employees required to have full or limited access to complete the weigh/drop/count; and

(N) When the weigh/drop/count is completed, the independent observer shall access the laptop compartment, end the recording session, eject the videotape, and deliver the videotape to surveillance.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Access to the count room during the count shall be restricted to members of the drop and count teams, with the exception of authorized observers, supervisors for resolution of problems, and authorized maintenance personnel.

(4) If counts from various revenue centers occur simultaneously in the count room, procedures shall be in effect that prevent the commingling of funds from different revenue centers.

(5) The following functions shall be performed in the counting of the gaming machine drop:

(i) Recorder function, which involves the recording of the gaming machine count; and

(ii) Count team supervisor function, which involves the control of the gaming machine weigh and wrap process. The supervisor shall not perform the initial recording of the weigh/count unless a weigh scale with a printer is used.

(6) The gaming machine drop shall be counted, wrapped, and reconciled in such a manner to prevent the commingling of gaming machine drop coin with coin (for each denomination) from the next gaming machine drop until the count of the gaming machine drop has been recorded. If the coins are not wrapped immediately after being weighed or counted, they shall be secured and not commingled with other coin.

(i) The amount of the gaming machine drop from each machine shall be recorded in ink or other permanent form of recordation on a gaming machine count document by the recorder or mechanically printed by the weigh scale.

(ii) Corrections to information originally recorded by the count team on gaming machine count documentation shall be made by drawing a single line through the error, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team members who verified the change.

(A) If a weigh scale interface is used, corrections to gaming machine count data shall be made using either of the following:

(1) Drawing a single line through the error on the gaming machine document, writing the correct figure above the original figure, and then obtaining the initials of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an employee independent of the gaming machine department and count team shall enter the correct figure into the computer system prior to the generation of related gaming machine reports; or

(2) During the count process, correct the error in the computer system and enter the passwords of at least two count team employees. If this procedure is used, an exception report shall be generated by the computer system identifying the gaming machine number, the error, the correction, and the count team employees attesting to the correction.

(B) [Reserved]

(7) If applicable, the weight shall be converted to dollar amounts before the reconciliation of the weigh to the wrap.

(8) If a coin meter is used, a count team member shall convert the coin count for each denomination into dollars and shall enter the results on a summary sheet.

(9) The recorder and at least one other count team member shall sign the weigh tape and the gaming machine count document attesting to the accuracy of the weigh/count.

(10) All members of the count team shall sign the count document or a summary report to attest to their participation in the count.

(11) All drop proceeds and cash equivalents that were counted shall be turned over to the cage or vault cashier (who shall be independent of the count team) or to an authorized person/employee independent of the revenue generation and the count process for verification. Such person shall certify by signature as to the accuracy of the drop proceeds delivered and received.

(12) All gaming machine count and wrap documentation, including any applicable computer storage media, shall be delivered to the accounting department by a count team member or a person independent of the cashier's department. Alternatively, it may be adequately secured (e.g., locked container to which only accounting personnel can gain access) until retrieved by the accounting department.

(13) If the coins are transported off the property, a second (alternative) count procedure shall be performed before the coins leave the property. Any variances shall be documented.

(14) Variances. Large (by denomination, either $1,000 or 2% of the drop, whichever is less) or unusual (e.g., zero for weigh/count or patterned for all counts) variances between the weigh/count and wrap shall be investigated by management personnel independent of the gaming machine department, count team, and the cage/vault functions on a timely basis. The results of such investigation shall be documented, maintained for inspection, and provided to the Tribal gaming regulatory authority upon request.

(j) Security of the count room inventory during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) If the count room serves as a coin room and coin room inventory is not secured so as to preclude access by the count team, then the following standards shall apply:

(i) At the commencement of the gaming machine count the following requirements shall be met:

(A) The coin room inventory shall be counted by at least two employees, one of whom is a member of the count team and the other is independent of the weigh/count and wrap procedures;

(B) The count in paragraph (j)(1)(i)(A) of this section shall be recorded on an appropriate inventory form;

(ii) Upon completion of the wrap of the gaming machine drop:

(A) At least two members of the count team (wrap team), independently from each other, shall count the ending coin room inventory;

(B) The counts in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) of this section shall be recorded on a summary report(s) that evidences the calculation of the final wrap by subtracting the beginning inventory from the sum of the ending inventory and transfers in and out of the coin room;

(C) The same count team members shall compare the calculated wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison and noting any variances on the summary report;

(D) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the ending coin room inventory by denomination and shall reconcile it to the beginning inventory, wrap, transfers, and weigh/count; and

(E) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count/wrap team members and the verifying employee shall sign the summary report(s) attesting to its accuracy.

(2) If the count room is segregated from the coin room, or if the coin room is used as a count room and the coin room inventory is secured to preclude access by the count team, all of the Start Printed Page 43441following requirements shall be completed, at the conclusion of the count:

(i) At least two members of the count/wrap team shall count the final wrapped gaming machine drop independently from each other;

(ii) The counts shall be recorded on a summary report;

(iii) The same count team members (or the accounting department) shall compare the final wrap to the weigh/count, recording the comparison and noting any variances on the summary report;

(iv) A member of the cage/vault department shall count the wrapped gaming machine drop by denomination and reconcile it to the weigh/count;

(v) At the conclusion of the reconciliation, at least two count team members and the cage/vault employee shall sign the summary report attesting to its accuracy; and

(vi) The wrapped coins (exclusive of proper transfers) shall be transported to the cage, vault or coin vault after the reconciliation of the weigh/count to the wrap.

(k) Transfers during the gaming machine coin count and wrap. (1) Transfers may be permitted during the count and wrap only if permitted under the internal control standards approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(2) Each transfer shall be recorded on a separate multi-part form with a preprinted or concurrently-printed form number (used solely for gaming machine count transfers) that shall be subsequently reconciled by the accounting department to ensure the accuracy of the reconciled gaming machine drop.

(3) Each transfer must be counted and signed for by at least two members of the count team and by a person independent of the count team who is responsible for authorizing the transfer.

(l) Gaming machine drop key control standards. (1) Gaming machine coin drop cabinet keys, including duplicates, shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) The physical custody of the keys needed to access gaming machine coin drop cabinets, including duplicates, shall require the involvement of two persons, one of whom is independent of the gaming machine department.

(3) Two employees (separate from key custodian) shall be required to accompany such keys while checked out and observe each time gaming machine drop cabinets are accessed, unless surveillance is notified each time keys are checked out and surveillance observes the person throughout the period the keys are checked out.

(m) Table game drop box key control standards. (1) Procedures shall be developed and implemented to insure that unauthorized access to empty table game drop boxes shall not occur from the time the boxes leave the storage racks until they are placed on the tables.

(2) The involvement of at least two persons independent of the cage department shall be required to access stored empty table game drop boxes.

(3) The release keys shall be separately keyed from the contents keys.

(4) At least three (two for table game drop box keys in operations with three tables or fewer) count team members are required to be present at the time count room and other count keys are issued for the count.

(5) All duplicate keys shall be maintained in a manner that provides the same degree of control as is required for the original keys. Records shall be maintained for each key duplicated that indicate the number of keys made and destroyed.

(6) Logs shall be maintained by the custodian of sensitive keys to document authorization of personnel accessing keys.

(n) Table game drop box release keys. (1) The table game drop box release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the pit department.

(2) Only the person(s) authorized to remove table game drop boxes from the tables shall be allowed access to the table game drop box release keys; however, the count team members may have access to the release keys during the soft count in order to reset the table game drop boxes.

(3) Persons authorized to remove the table game drop boxes shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the table game drop box contents keys and release keys.

(4) For situations requiring access to a table game drop box at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(o) Bill acceptor canister release keys. (1) The bill acceptor canister release keys shall be maintained by a department independent of the gaming machine department.

(2) Only the person(s) authorized to remove bill acceptor canisters from the gaming machines shall be allowed access to the release keys.

(3) Persons authorized to remove the bill acceptor canisters shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to the bill acceptor canister contents keys and release keys.

(4) For situations requiring access to a bill acceptor canister at a time other than the scheduled drop, the date, time, and signature of employee signing out/in the release key must be documented.

(p) Table game drop box storage rack keys. (1) A person independent of the pit department shall be required to accompany the table game drop box storage rack keys and observe each time table game drop boxes are removed from or placed in storage racks.

(2) Persons authorized to obtain table game drop box storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to table game drop box contents keys with the exception of the count team.

(q) Bill acceptor canister storage rack keys. (1) A person independent of the gaming machine department shall be required to accompany the bill acceptor canister storage rack keys and observe each time canisters are removed from or placed in storage racks.

(2) Persons authorized to obtain bill acceptor canister storage rack keys shall be precluded from having simultaneous access to bill acceptor canister contents keys with the exception of the count team.

(r) Table game drop box contents keys. (1) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full table game drop box contents shall require the involvement of persons from at least two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(2) Access to the table game drop box contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least three persons from separate departments, including management. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(3) Only count team members shall be allowed access to table game drop box content keys during the count process.

(s) Bill acceptor canister contents keys. (1) The physical custody of the keys needed for accessing stored, full bill acceptor canister contents shall require involvement of persons from two separate departments, with the exception of the count team.

(2) Access to the bill acceptor canister contents key at other than scheduled count times shall require the involvement of at least three persons from separate departments, one of whom must be a supervisor. The reason for access shall be documented with the signatures of all participants and observers.

(3) Only the count team members shall be allowed access to bill acceptor canister contents keys during the count process. Start Printed Page 43442

(t) Emergency drop procedures. Emergency drop procedures shall be developed by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority.

(u) Equipment standards for gaming machine count. (1) A weigh scale calibration module shall be secured so as to prevent unauthorized access (e.g., prenumbered seal, lock and key, etc.).

(2) A person independent of the cage, vault, gaming machine, and count team functions shall be required to be present whenever the calibration module is accessed. Such access shall be documented and maintained.

(3) If a weigh scale interface is used, it shall be adequately restricted so as to prevent unauthorized access (passwords, keys, etc.).

(4) If the weigh scale has a zero adjustment mechanism, it shall be physically limited to minor adjustments (e.g., weight of a bucket) or physically situated such that any unnecessary adjustments to it during the weigh process would be observed by other count team members.

(5) The weigh scale and weigh scale interface (if applicable) shall be tested by a person or persons independent of the cage, vault, and gaming machine departments and count team at least quarterly. At least annually, this test shall be performed by internal audit in accordance with the internal audit standards. The result of these tests shall be documented and signed by the person or persons performing the test.

(6) Prior to the gaming machine count, at least two employees shall verify the accuracy of the weigh scale with varying weights or with varying amounts of previously counted coin for each denomination to ensure the scale is properly calibrated (varying weights/coin from drop to drop is acceptable).

(7) If a mechanical coin counter is used (instead of a weigh scale), the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation as approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall establish and the gaming operation shall comply with procedures that are equivalent to those described in paragraphs (u)(4), (u)(5), and (u)(6) of this section.

(8) If a coin meter count machine is used, the count team member shall record the machine number denomination and number of coins in ink on a source document, unless the meter machine automatically records such information.

(i) A count team member shall test the coin meter count machine before the actual count to ascertain if the metering device is functioning properly with a predetermined number of coins for each denomination.

(ii) [Reserved]

What are the minimum internal control standards for internal audit for Tier C gaming operations?

(a) Internal audit personnel. (1) For Tier C gaming operations, a separate internal audit department shall be maintained whose primary function is performing internal audit work and that is independent with respect to the departments subject to audit.

(2) The internal audit personnel shall report directly to the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe in accordance with the definition of internal audit in § 542.2.

(b) Audits. (1) Internal audit personnel shall perform audits of all major gaming areas of the gaming operation. The following shall be reviewed at least annually:

(i) Bingo, including but not limited to, bingo card control, payout procedures, and cash reconciliation process;

(ii) Pull tabs, including but not limited to, statistical records, winner verification, perpetual inventory, and accountability of sales versus inventory;

(iii) Card games, including but not limited to, card games operation, cash exchange procedures, shill transactions, and count procedures;

(iv) Keno, including but not limited to, game write and payout procedures, sensitive key location and control, and a review of keno auditing procedures;

(v) Pari-mutual wagering, including write and payout procedures, and pari-mutual auditing procedures;

(vi) Table games, including but not limited to, fill and credit procedures, pit credit play procedures, rim credit procedures, soft drop/count procedures and the subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, location and control over sensitive keys, the tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, and reconciliation to restricted copies;

(vii) Gaming machines, including but not limited to, jackpot payout and gaming machine fill procedures, gaming machine drop/count and bill acceptor drop/count and subsequent transfer of funds, unannounced testing of weigh scale and weigh scale interface, unannounced testing of count room currency counters and/or currency interface, gaming machine drop cabinet access, tracing of source documents to summarized documentation and accounting records, reconciliation to restricted copies, location and control over sensitive keys, compliance with EPROM duplication procedures, and compliance with MICS procedures for gaming machines that accept currency or coin(s) and issue cash-out tickets or gaming machines that do not accept currency or coin(s) and do not return currency or coin(s);

(viii) Cage and credit procedures including all cage, credit, and collection procedures, and the reconciliation of trial balances to physical instruments on a sample basis. Cage accountability shall be reconciled to the general ledger;

(ix) Information technology functions, including review for compliance with information technology standards;

(x) Complimentary service or item, including but not limited to, procedures whereby complimentary service items are issued, authorized, and redeemed; and

(xi) Any other internal audits as required by the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

(2) In addition to the observation and examinations performed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, follow-up observations and examinations shall be performed to verify that corrective action has been taken regarding all instances of noncompliance cited by internal audit, the independent accountant, and/or the Commission. The verification shall be performed within six (6) months following the date of notification.

(3) Whenever possible, internal audit observations shall be performed on an unannounced basis (i.e., without the employees being forewarned that their activities will be observed). Additionally, if the independent accountant also performs the internal audit function, the accountant shall perform separate observations of the table games/gaming machine drops and counts to satisfy the internal audit observation requirements and independent accountant tests of controls as required by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guide.

(c) Documentation. (1) Documentation (e.g., checklists, programs, reports, etc.) shall be prepared to evidence all internal audit work performed as it relates to the requirements in this section, including all instances of noncompliance.

(2) The internal audit department shall operate with audit programs, which, at a minimum, address the MICS. Additionally, the department shall properly document the work performed, the conclusions reached, and the resolution of all exceptions. Institute of Internal Auditors standards are recommended but not required. Start Printed Page 43443

(d) Reports. (1) Reports documenting audits performed shall be maintained and made available to the Commission upon request.

(2) Such audit reports shall include the following information:

(i) Audit objectives;

(ii) Audit procedures and scope;

(iii) Findings and conclusions;

(iv) Recommendations, if applicable; and

(v) Management's response.

(e) Material exceptions. All material exceptions resulting from internal audit work shall be investigated and resolved with the results of such being documented and retained for five years.

(f) Role of management. (1) Internal audit findings shall be reported to management.

(2) Management shall be required to respond to internal audit findings stating corrective measures to be taken to avoid recurrence of the audit exception.

(3) Such management responses shall be included in the internal audit report that will be delivered to management, the Tribe, Tribal gaming regulatory authority, audit committee, or other entity designated by the Tribe.

What are the minimum internal control standards for surveillance for a Tier C gaming operation?

(a) The surveillance system shall be maintained and operated from a staffed surveillance room and shall provide surveillance over gaming areas.

(b) The entrance to the surveillance room shall be located so that it is not readily accessible by either gaming operation employees who work primarily on the casino floor, or the general public.

(c) Access to the surveillance room shall be limited to surveillance personnel, designated employees, and other persons authorized in accordance with the surveillance department policy. Such policy shall be approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority. The surveillance department shall maintain a sign-in log of other authorized persons entering the surveillance room.

(d) Surveillance room equipment shall have total override capability over all other satellite surveillance equipment located outside the surveillance room.

(e) In the event of power loss to the surveillance system, an auxiliary or backup power source shall be available and capable of providing immediate restoration of power to all elements of the surveillance system that enable surveillance personnel to observe the table games remaining open for play and all areas covered by dedicated cameras. Auxiliary or backup power sources such as a UPS System, backup generator, or an alternate utility supplier, satisfy this requirement.

(f) The surveillance system shall include date and time generators that possess the capability to display the date and time of recorded events on video and/or digital recordings. The displayed date and time shall not significantly obstruct the recorded view.

(g) The surveillance department shall strive to ensure staff is trained in the use of the equipment, knowledge of the games, and house rules.

(h) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall be installed in a manner that will prevent it from being readily obstructed, tampered with, or disabled by customers or employees.

(i) Each camera required by the standards in this section shall possess the capability of having its picture displayed on a monitor and recorded. The surveillance system shall include sufficient numbers of monitors and recorders to simultaneously display and record multiple gaming and count room activities, and record the views of all dedicated cameras and motion activated dedicated cameras.

(j) Reasonable effort shall be made to repair each malfunction of surveillance system equipment required by the standards in this section within seventy-two (72) hours after the malfunction is discovered. The Tribal gaming regulatory authority shall be notified of any camera(s) that has malfunctioned for more than twenty-four (24) hours.

(1) In the event of a dedicated camera malfunction, the gaming operation and/or the surveillance department shall immediately provide alternative camera coverage or other security measures, such as additional supervisory or security personnel, to protect the subject activity.

(2) [Reserved]

(k) Bingo. (1) The surveillance system shall possess the capability to monitor the bingo ball drawing device or random number generator, which shall be recorded during the course of the draw by a dedicated camera with sufficient clarity to identify the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(2) The surveillance system shall monitor and record the game board and the activities of the employees responsible for drawing, calling, and entering the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(l) Card games. The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in each card room with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(m) Progressive card games. (1) Progressive card games with a progressive jackpot of $25,000 or more shall be monitored and recorded by dedicated cameras that provide coverage of:

(i) The table surface, sufficient that the card values and card suits can be clearly identified;

(ii) An overall view of the entire table with sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealer; and

(iii) A view of the posted jackpot amount.

(2) [Reserved]

(n) Keno. (1) The surveillance system shall possess the capability to monitor the keno ball-drawing device or random number generator, which shall be recorded during the course of the draw by a dedicated camera with sufficient clarity to identify the balls drawn or numbers selected.

(2) The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in each keno game area with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(o) Pari-mutuel. The surveillance system shall monitor and record general activities in the pari-mutuel area, to include the ticket writer and cashier areas, with sufficient clarity to identify the employees performing the different functions.

(p) Table games. (1) Operations with four (4) or more table games. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (p)(3), (p)(4), and (p)(5) of this section, the surveillance system of gaming operations operating four (4) or more table games shall provide at a minimum one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per two (2) tables and surveillance must be capable of taping:

(i) With sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealers; and

(ii) With sufficient coverage and clarity to simultaneously view the table bank and determine the configuration of wagers, card values, and game outcome.

(iii) One (1) dedicated camera per table and one (1) pan-tilt-zoom camera per four (4) tables may be an acceptable alternative procedure to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) Operations with three (3) or fewer table games. The surveillance system of gaming operations operating three (3) or fewer table games shall:

(i) Comply with the requirements of paragraph (p)(1) of this section; or

(ii) Have one (1) overhead camera at each table.

(3) Craps. All craps tables shall have two (2) dedicated cross view cameras covering both ends of the table. Start Printed Page 43444

(4) Roulette. All roulette areas shall have one (1) overhead dedicated camera covering the roulette wheel and shall also have one (1) dedicated camera covering the play of the table.

(5) Big wheel. All big wheel games shall have one (1) dedicated camera viewing the wheel.

(q) Progressive table games. (1) Progressive table games with a progressive jackpot of $25,000 or more shall be monitored and recorded by dedicated cameras that provide coverage of:

(i) The table surface, sufficient that the card values and card suits can be clearly identified;

(ii) An overall view of the entire table with sufficient clarity to identify customers and dealer; and

(iii) A view of the progressive meter jackpot amount. If several tables are linked to the same progressive jackpot meter, only one meter need be recorded.

(2) [Reserved]

(r) Gaming machines. (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (r)(2) and (r)(3) of this section, gaming machines offering a payout of more than $250,000 shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine, and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(2) In-house progressive machine. In-house progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount (jackpot reset amount) of more than $100,000 shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(3) Wide-area progressive machine. Wide-area progressive gaming machines offering a base payout amount of more than $1.5 million and monitored by an independent vendor utilizing an on-line progressive computer system shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera(s) to provide coverage of:

(i) All customers and employees at the gaming machine; and

(ii) The face of the gaming machine, with sufficient clarity to identify the payout line(s) of the gaming machine.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (r)(1) of this section, if the gaming machine is a multi-game machine, the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, or the gaming operation subject to the approval of the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, may develop and implement alternative procedures to verify payouts.

(s) Cage and vault. (1) The surveillance system shall monitor and record a general overview of activities occurring in each cage and vault area with sufficient clarity to identify employees within the cage and customers and employees at the counter areas.

(2) Each cashier station shall be equipped with one (1) dedicated overhead camera covering the transaction area.

(3) The surveillance system shall provide an overview of cash transactions. This overview should include the customer, the employee, and the surrounding area.

(t) Fills and credits. (1) The cage or vault area in which fills and credits are transacted shall be monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera or motion activated dedicated camera that provides coverage with sufficient clarity to identify the chip values and the amounts on the fill and credit slips.

(2) Controls provided by a computerized fill and credit system maybe deemed an adequate alternative to viewing the fill and credit slips.

(u) Currency and coin. (1) The surveillance system shall monitor and record with sufficient clarity all areas where currency or coin may be stored or counted.

(2) Audio capability of the soft count room shall also be maintained.

(3) The surveillance system shall provide for:

(i) Coverage of scales shall be sufficiently clear to view any attempted manipulation of the recorded data.

(ii) Monitoring and recording of the table game drop box storage rack or area by either a dedicated camera or a motion-detector activated camera.

(iii) Monitoring and recording of all areas where coin may be stored or counted, including the hard count room, all doors to the hard count room, all scales and wrapping machines, and all areas where uncounted coin may be stored during the drop and count process.

(iv) Monitoring and recording of soft count room, including all doors to the room, all table game drop boxes, safes, and counting surfaces, and all count team personnel. The counting surface area must be continuously monitored and recorded by a dedicated camera during the soft count.

(v) Monitoring and recording of all areas where currency is sorted, stacked, counted, verified, or stored during the soft count process.

(v) Change booths. The surveillance system shall monitor and record a general overview of the activities occurring in each gaming machine change booth.

(w) Video recording and/or digital record retention.

(1) All video recordings and/or digital records of coverage provided by the dedicated cameras or motion-activated dedicated cameras required by the standards in this section shall be retained for a minimum of seven (7) days.

(2) Recordings involving suspected or confirmed gaming crimes, unlawful activity, or detentions by security personnel, must be retained for a minimum of thirty (30) days.

(3) Duly authenticated copies of video recordings and/or digital records shall be provided to the Commission upon request.

(x) Video library log. A video library log, or comparable alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority, shall be maintained to demonstrate compliance with the storage, identification, and retention standards required in this section.

(y) Malfunction and repair log. (1) Surveillance personnel shall maintain a log or alternative procedure approved by the Tribal gaming regulatory authority that documents each malfunction and repair of the surveillance system as defined in this section.

(2) The log shall state the time, date, and nature of each malfunction, the efforts expended to repair the malfunction, and the date of each effort, the reasons for any delays in repairing the malfunction, the date the malfunction is repaired, and where applicable, any alternative security measures that were taken.

(z) Surveillance log. (1) Surveillance personnel shall maintain a log of all surveillance activities.

(2) Such log shall be maintained by surveillance room personnel and shall be stored securely within the surveillance department.

(3) At a minimum, the following information shall be recorded in a surveillance log:

(i) Date;

(ii) Time commenced and terminated;

(iii) Activity observed or performed; and

(iv) The name or license credential number of each person who initiates, performs, or supervises the surveillance.

(4) Surveillance personnel shall also record a summary of the results of the surveillance of any suspicious activity. This summary may be maintained in a separate log.

End Part Start Signature
Start Printed Page 43445

Signed at Washington, DC, this 17th day of June, 2002.

Montie R. Deer,

Chairman.

Elizabeth L. Homer,

Vice-Chair.

Teresa E. Poust,

Commissioner.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-15644 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7565-01-P