205 CMR 144.03 - Installation and Approval for Use of an Electronic Gaming Device
(a) No electronic gaming device shall be installed or operated in a gaming establishment, nor shall a previously approved electronic gaming device be modified or moved from a previously approved location, unless a gaming licensee first submits a request for approval to the commission, as directed, at least five days prior to the anticipated installation, operation, modification, or movement date and such request is approved. The commission, or its designee, may approve such request on shorter notice in exceptional circumstances. The request for approval shall be in the form prescribed by the commission. Devices identified in 205 CMR 144.0 l(2)(o) shall be exempt from this approval procedure, but shall remain subject to inspection by the commission.
(b) For purposes of 205 CMR 144.03, modified or modification means a change or alteration to an electronic gaming device's software and/or hardware previously approved by the commission for installation or operation in Massachusetts (e.g. change to control programs, change to the theoretical payout percentage, change of denomination, or a change to the hash signature).
(a) Upon receipt of a request for approval for installation, operation, movement, or modification of an electronic gaming device, the commission shall validate and process the information provided in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(1) relative to each electronic gaming device. Validation shall be conducted in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(3). Upon validation, the commission shall notify the gaming licensee of its assent to approval. The approval shall not expire, but shall be subject to revocation and any future conditions imposed in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(4). An electronic gaming device that does not comport with 205 CMR 144.03(3)(a) through (d) and cannot be validated shall be denied approval. A denial shall be made in writing and include an explanation as to the reasoning therefor. Such a denial may be appealed in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(11).
(b) Upon receipt of the assent to approval in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(2)(a) the gaming licensee shall notify the IEB and coordinate a final inspection of the device in its intended location within the gaming area prior to operation. The gaming licensee shall certify in writing that the gaming device is configured consistent with the certification report described in 205 CMR 144.04(2) prior to the inspection. The inspection of a device shall be performed by a gaming agent and shall at a minimum include, as applicable, confirmation of proper surveillance coverage, and any testing. Upon satisfactory inspection of a new slot machine by the IEB, a gaming agent shall place a seal on the slot machine indicating approval. At the election of the IEB a gaming device may be approved for use without an inspection.
(c) Upon satisfactory completion of its inspection or review, the IEB shall indicate in the commission's records that the device is 'Approved for Use', and the device may be placed into operation by the gaming licensee. Operation of a slot machine by a gaming licensee prior to being 'Approved for Use' in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(2)(c), or after revocation of such approval in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(4), may result in the device being ordered out of operation and disciplinary measures, including assessment of a civil administrative penalty upon the gaming licensee and any responsible party in accordance with M.G.L. c. 23K, § 36. (Any such assessment shall be made notwithstanding any criminal penalties that are imposed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23K, § 37(d).)
(3) In order for an electronic gaming device to be validated as required in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(2)(a), all information required in the request for approval in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(1) must be provided, and each individual electronic gaming device, including the game critical content, must:
(a) be identical in all material mechanical, electrical, electronic or other material aspects to the prototype certified in accordance with 205 CMR 144.04 on which the electronic gaming device is based;
(b) comply with any conditions placed upon the prototype on which the certification of the electronic gaming device is based;
(c) not endanger, compromise, or weaken the credibility or integrity of gaming in the Commonwealth; and
(d) where applicable, be interoperable with the commission's central monitoring system. Where an electronic gaming device is not interoperable with the commission's central monitoring system, the commission reserves the right to inspect/validate the device prior to operation.
An electronic gaming device that the commission determines does not comport with 205 CMR 144.03(3)(a) through (d) may be deemed a new gaming device requiring completion of a full certification procedure in accordance with 205 CMR 144.02.
(4) The gaming licensee must ensure that the approved electronic gaming device is and remains in compliance with 205 CMR 144.03(3), 205 CMR 143.00: Gaming Devices and Electronic Gaming Equipment, as applicable, and is consistent with the configurations contained in the certification report described in 205 CMR 144.04(2), at all times. The commission may at any time inspect any approved electronic gaming device and revoke or condition the approval pursuant to 205 CMR 144.03(9) if that device fails to comply with 205 CMR 144.03(3), 205 CMR 143.00: Gaming Devices and Electronic Gaming Equipment, is not configured consistent with the certification report described in 205 CMR 144.04(2), or in any way fails to operate in the manner for which it was approved. Prior to revoking or conditioning the approval of an electronic gaming device currently in use in a gaming establishment, the commission may allow the gaming licensee a reasonable amount of time to bring the device into compliance.
(5) Subsequent to an electronic gaming device being deemed 'Approved for Use' in the gaming area pursuant to 205 CMR 144.03(2)(c), an electronic gaming device may only be moved or modified in accordance with the gaming licensee's approved system of internal controls submitted in accordance with 205 CMR 138.63: Slot Machines and Other Electronic Gaming Devices; Authorized Locations; Movements which shall incorporate the notice and approval provisions contained in 205 CMR 144.03.
(6) Prior to issuing an approval or 'Approval for Use' of an electronic gaming device, the commission may require a trial period of a length to be established on a case by case basis, not to exceed 90 days, to test the gaming device in a gaming establishment to determine whether it complies with 205 CMR 144.03(3). During the trial period, minor changes in the operation or design of the electronic gaming device may be made with prior approval of the commission. The commission may, for reasonable cause, extend the trial period as necessary to ensure compliance with 205 CMR 144.03(3).
(7) A gaming licensee shall inform the IEB of any approved electronic gaming device that the gaming licensee no longer possesses by indicating such on the Slot Machine Master List provided in accordance with 205 CMR 145.01(2).
(8) The IEB may assess a civil administrative penalty on a gaming licensee, or anyone permitted to possess a gaming device pursuant to 205 CMR 145.01(1), in accordance with M.G.L. c. 23K, § 36 for a violation of 205 CMR 144.00.
(9) If the commission finds that a gaming device does not comply with 205 CMR 144.03(4), or a gaming licensee, or anyone permitted to possess a gaming device pursuant to 205 CMR 145.01(1), has violated a provision of 205 CMR 144.00, it may issue a written notice of its intent to revoke, and/or condition approval to operate the subject device. Such notices shall be provided in writing and contain a factual basis and the reasoning in support the decision including citation to the applicable statute(s) or regulation(s) that supports the decision. It shall further advise the licensee or person of their right to a hearing and their responsibility to request a hearing in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(11), if they so choose, and that failure to do so may result in the decision automatically being imposed.
(10) If the commission determines that a gaming device does not comply with 205 CMR 144.03(4), and that continued operation of the gaming device would pose a substantial and immediate threat to the credibility or integrity of gaming in the Commonwealth, it may temporarily revoke the approval to use such device pending the outcome of the process set forth in 205 CMR 144.03(9) and (11), as applicable.
(11) If the gaming licensee or person is aggrieved by a decision made by the commission to revoke or condition an approval to operate a gaming device, and/or to assess a civil administrative penalty in accordance with 205 CMR 144.03(8) and (9), it may request review of said decision in accordance with 205 CMR 101.00: M.G.L. c. 23K Adjudicatory Hearings. Failure to request such review in the prescribed manner may result in the decision automatically being imposed.
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