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Tribal Gaming at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community: A Heavily Regulated Game
The properties of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are some of the most highly regulated gaming operations in the United States. Integrity, public trust, and confidence are the life blood of the gaming industry; and the Community mandates the highest standards of regulatory compliance be maintained.
Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos are regulated by multiple entities, including the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), the federally mandated regulatory body providing oversight of tribal gaming throughout the country; the SMSC Gaming Commission, the primary regulatory authority under federal law; the Gaming Enterprise’s internal Compliance Division; two outside audit firms; and two independent testing laboratories for gaming equipment. The State of Minnesota has always had oversight authority pursuant to the Tribal/State Gaming Compacts, but does not serve as the primary regulatory agency over federal tribal gaming operations.
Here are the facts:
- In 2011, Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos were subject to three on-site inspections by the NIGC, with no exceptions noted. Furthermore, the NIGC issued a letter commending the SMSC’s regulatory oversight as one of the best in the country.
- The SMSC Gaming Commission, with 27 experienced regulators, performs inspections of all gaming operations. These include random inspections of 30 percent of all slot machines yearly to verify game integrity and compliance to the Compact-mandated payout percentages; the approval of all new games; and any changes to existing game programs.
- All software in each slot machine is certified by an independent gaming test laboratory, verifying all machines comply with the standards of the Tribal/State Gaming Compacts. That certification is reconfirmed by the SMSC Gaming Commission prior to any game being put into play.
- The Compliance Division, comprising the departments of Internal Audit, Surveillance and Security, monitors and enforces gaming regulations and operating standards.
- The Internal Audit department independently examines slots, table games, bingo, and pull tab procedures to ensure ongoing regulatory compliance. This includes the inspection of 10 percent of slot machines yearly.
- The Surveillance department with over 50 trained specialists, monitors all gaming activity with the latest technology on a 24/7/365 basis.
- The SMSC Gaming Enterprise also engages an independent audit firm to conduct unannounced inspections to monitor and assess regulatory compliance.
The SMSC Gaming Enterprise has invested in resources, and enacted regulatory standards and developed compliance programs that far exceed any state regulatory program.
Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos are highly regulated and recognized throughout the gaming industry for their commitment to regulatory compliance and ensuring the highest standards of integrity in the conduct of gaming.
Vice President of Compliance