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Similar to a rock climber, a casino operator can leave no margin for error when he analyzes his options and makes decisions based on a unified view of the casino’s data. While this data provides an opportunity for competitive advantage, storing and managing a casino’s large databases, and collating all the data points for effective reporting can be daunting. CIOs are quite aware of the untapped potential in the data and are in pursuit of ways to eliminate the data integration problems in order to maximize profit and efficiency while minimizing manual processes that are prone to errors. When four industry veterans with vast experience in management and accounting for casinos—Kurt Williams, Drew Word, Blake Doerr, and Wanor Franca—took on this challenge, they laid the cornerstone for Casino Cash Trac (CCT), a company that manages a casino’s entire accounting operations and analytics.
"Our customers know that they are not just buying a solution, but an opportunity to implement the methodologies that are tried and tested for several years in helping hundreds of gaming operations"
For the CCT team, one of the first problems that needed attention was the streamlining and automation of cage operations, along with revenue audit processes and operations analysis. To this end, they developed Casino Insight, a robust suite of transactional, reporting, and analytical tools. The result of exploring a niche area, Casino Insight integrates, collects, automates, and manages the flow of currency in and out of the cage and vault, and between different revenue centers of the casino, including multiple properties. True to its name, the solution provides valuable insights into a casino’s operations, right from the players, the gaming floor, and the vault, all the way to the general ledger.
Casino Insight: Building a Platform, Not Just a Product
When it comes to selecting any product, CIOs in the gaming industry have a “buyer’s dilemma” as it becomes quite strenuous to zero in on the right fit for their organization. If they choose to procure multiple products, each managing a single task, it leaves the IT team with the challenge of integrating these products, which disrupts the business. Besides creating an operational risk, it also triggers a decision risk related to the purchased solutions.
We believe that CIOs will be the first to recognize that a CAS is a must-have to run a casino enterprise effectively and I24 is required to derive maximum value from the data
For the Modern Paperless Casino
The cage and vault module of Casino Insight eliminates paper by recording transactions with electronic signatures and providing a built-in audit trail. Once those data points have been recorded, data that is spread across independent systems is brought together, which streamlines the validation of each transaction. This provides “one version of the truth” for the various functions in a casino. Doerr explains a simple example of non-gaming cashiers when it comes to auditing. An F&B server may withdraw their “starting bank” from a cash recycler, enter transactions into an F&B system, drop off other bank transactions to a vault teller, and separately drop tips that are not part of the ending cash. As CAS has data from each of these systems, it can bring them together and immediately show the F&B auditor the resulting cash variance for that particular employee and provide tip reporting to payroll. This tool allows auditors to focus on the exceptions instead of manually auditing each transaction. In addition to these F&B cashiers many casinos have stand-alone shopping centers, concerts, sports betting, and other business lines that make auditing more complicated. A gaming cashier is dramatically more complex and interacts with many other systems that have to all be reconciled. The variety and the volume of transactions from these revenue streams create a complex set of audits that must be performed daily. CCT’s platform automatically pulls data from all casino systems and aligns the data for a complete reconciliation to be achieved, so that their customers do not require multiple spreadsheets of manually entered data; instead, they see the relevant data from all systems in the audit tools.
Working closely with its customers to understand their pain points and develop appropriate solutions is CCT’s competitive advantage. After the CAS platform, the company wanted to replicate its success for analytics as well.
Outperforming Competitors with a Single Solution
Any transaction of substantial value creates an opportunity for fraud and must be audited and analyzed. CCT’s founders have set a clear goal of delivering improved controls and best practices since the time the initial versions of Casino Insight were launched. “Our customers know that they are not just buying a solution, but an opportunity to implement the methodologies that are tried and tested for several years in helping hundreds of gaming operations,” asserts Doerr.
For instance, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma continues to add new casinos, hotel towers, and entertainment venues, as these businesses expand rapidly. Normally this growth would put immense pressure on the revenue audit department of each casino owner and require significant resources for handling the new workload. However, the management team at Choctaw Casinos of Oklahoma does a great job at maximizing the value of CCT’s platform to help minimize the impact. Christian Fenner, the corporate director of accounting at Choctaw Casinos of Oklahoma, found numerous problems that she could solve with CCT’s platform, including added efficiency, eliminating paperwork, and increasing visibility into the transactions. The easiest way was to maximize the use of machines that automate cash handling like cash recyclers, jackpot machines, and cash dispensers. On the one hand, these machines may provide a great deal of operational efficiency, but on the other, they create additional work in the revenue audit and accounting areas; this is where CCT’s solution solves the puzzle by not only automating the individual transactions but also reconciling each of these machines.
Experience the Difference
A positive work culture is a major asset to any company and a huge contributor to its success. CCT understands the truth in this, and that’s why they cover 100 percent of healthcare expenses for their employees’ families, profit-sharing, gym memberships, and other benefits, that are not typical of small companies.
“Our customers can feel the excitement in our employees, and it is contagious. Our best product features stem from our employees’ strong relationships with our customers. Each subsequent project delivers value back into the product that all customers will benefit from,” asserts Doerr. CCT has been helping casinos with cage operations and revenue audit automation since its inception in 2012, and today, Casino Insight has a strong foothold in the marketplace, serving over 145 casinos across the U.S. and Canada. As casinos move toward cashless transactions, advanced functionalities for existing systems and new solutions are set to hit the market. CCT aims to continue upgrading its Casino Insight platform at the same pace of advancements in the industry and allow customers to adapt to these changes with confidence.