Integrity of Tribal Gaming Regulators

When Tribal Casinos first started sprouting up across the Untied States there was a grave concern among States and the Federal Government that organized crime would infiltrate the operations and become a huge source of revenue for criminal activities. The Feds, States and Tribes negotiated regulation standards that far exceed any private or corporate run casino in the world.

Tribal casinos must pass scrutiny from Federal National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), State Gaming Commissions and Tribal Gaming Commissions. While the Tribes maintain they have first right to regulate their casinos, the State and NIGC can intervene anytime they determine rules are being violated. The State routinely audits Tribal casinos and the Tribe foots the bill.

The responsibility of a Tribal Gaming Agent (TGA) is to do routine and special audits for all aspects of casino that relate to Class III gaming. Class III gaming includes table games like blackjack, roulette and craps among others and slot machines. Class II gaming includes activities like bingo and pulltabs. Tribes have label activities like the restaurant as a Class IV activity.

The Tribes, however, wanting more assurance of legal activities in their casinos have expanded the role of the TGA’s to include audits in every aspect of the casino to insure the integrity of all internal controls, regulations, rules and policies that are in place to guarantee the smooth, legal and fair operation of the casino. The basic credo of the Tribal Gaming Commission and its agents is to ‘protect the assets of the Tribe’.

One would think that given such an important and noble mission, an employee who works as a TGA would have very high integrity, a higher level of honesty and a sense of pride consummate to the importance of the job they are doing. Most do, but in some cases egos and the euphoric feeling some people get from elevated levels of power obscure the mission a TGA is entrusted to uphold

Read the story of how one Tribal Gaming Director lost control of his vindictive personality trait and used the Tribes assets to launch a personal campaign that changed the lives of more than 300 people, including his own, destroying the careers of several honest people with decades of gaming experience and knowledge and costing the Tribe millions of dollars.

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