Game-Changing Compliance Management Transforms Casino Operations

CasinoSoft leverages Mendix to automate compliance processes, streamline operations, and deliver seamless user experiences at scale.

Casinos often evoke images of bright lights and opulence, but behind the scenes the industry is facing significant disruption. These organizations must navigate a complex web of ever-changing regulatory requirements to remain law-abiding and adapt to new consumer behavior post-pandemic.

In response, casinos are under mounting pressure to innovate and provide a smooth gaming experience to remain competitive. CasinoSoft is guiding the industry through these high-stakes compliance challenges and demands for digitization, ensuring that casinos adhere to federal mandates like Title 31 while operating more efficiently on the casino floor.

As a lean organization with a depth of industry expertise, CasinoSoft leveraged the Mendix low-code development platform to rebuild their flagship application, ComplianceCore, in an environment that would allow them to rapidly improve over time. Today, ComplianceCore has evolved to include features such as biometric authentication and IoT-enabled cash dispensers to streamline complex gaming processes within a modern, digital experience.

A Big Bet on Low-Code

In the United States, casinos generating over $1 million in annual revenue are obligated to adhere to Title 31, anti-money laundering legislation which necessitates the reporting of total currency transactions exceeding $10,000. Non-compliance with this regulation incurs significant fines and penalties.

“Within a casino every employee is mandated to complete Title 31 awareness training,” said Matt Montano, CEO of CasinoSoft. “Every department needs to know what it is, what it means, why it’s important, and it’s ultimately a team effort to maintain anti-money laundering compliance casino-wide.”

Historically it has been challenging for casinos to streamline compliance management due to:

  • Reliance on paper-based processes
  • Ongoing staffing challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Current market solutions are inflexible and unable to meet the unique needs of every casino

The CasinoSoft team is comprised of industry experts with backgrounds in compliance and gaming, who have an acute awareness of the barriers facing their customers today.

“For the past couple of years, there has been a widespread shortage of staff, affecting casinos nationwide. These staffing challenges are consistent across the industry, making it increasingly important to introduce software solutions that can automate tasks,” said Michelle Key, CasinoSoft’s Director of Operations.

CasinoSoft saw an opportunity to offer a differentiated experience for casino managers by providing solutions devoid of the legacy overhead typically associated with the industry. “In the post-pandemic world, the heightened regulatory demands led us to explore ways to assist casinos in accomplishing more with less. Automation, streamlined workflows, and IoT operations are essential for addressing their regulatory obligations,” said Montano.

In 2006 Montano had developed an early version of ComplianceCore with C#, which became rigid and cumbersome for a small team to maintain and iterate on over time. In 2018, their team began investigating low-code platforms and ultimately selected Mendix for its cloud deployment flexibility, customizable features, and seamless system integration capabilities.

“Mendix offers the flexibility of both on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid deployment, and we’ve been impressed with its evolution,” shared Montano. “It also offers a level of per-customer customization that’s not possible in a traditional application environment, where it might result in a convoluted and unmanageable code.”

Upping the Ante for Compliance

ComplianceCore continues to help CasinoSoft customers remain flexible to changing industry regulations. The system incorporates various integrations and workflows that monitor transactions, player behavior, and detects fraudulent gaming patterns.

The solution’s core functionality – to maintain Title 31 compliance – has been expanded upon in the last two years to also include features such as:

  • Tax audit assistance including W2G calculations and deductions for jackpot winnings over $1,200
  • IoT-enabled cash dispensers to more accurately track the flow of cash transactions within the casino
  • Biometric identification to automatically attach bets to specific individuals

“We’re empowering one of our cash dispenser machines with IoT functionality to communicate with ComplianceCore. We need the data even when someone is conducting a cash transaction inside a casino through a machine,” said Montano. “It’s going to be very cutting-edge, and that’s something that the flexibility of the Mendix microservices architecture makes very doable.”

These feature updates align with CasinoSoft’s core goal to automate what would be repetitive, manual work for casino employees – and to do so in a UI that is modern and easy for any employee to use.

“In casinos where patrons win jackpots frequently, staff equipped with iPads process customer information right on the spot,” explained Director of Product Management, Liz Rogentine. “For customers who win jackpots every 10 minutes, the process is swift.

“With low-code, we’ve turned what used to be three separate, manual transactions into a single entry, significantly reducing the risk of human error,” she added. “This approach improves compliance and allows a single person to handle more tasks with greater efficiency.

ComplianceCore offers robust integration capabilities to over 30 different software vendors for anti-money laundering or know your customer data. According to Rogentine, these integrations are critical in enabling quicker transactions and payouts.

“We refer to it as ‘invisible compliance’ – something customers are less aware of as these processes are taking place in the background. This results in a less disruptive experience as they don’t need to frequently produce their driver’s licenses, for example,” she added.

In addition to the back-end efficiency of ComplianceCore, an easy-to-use front-end experience is equally important in making the software approachable for employees at any level of experience. “Even for non-technical users like me, the bright buttons and colors make tasks straightforward and efficient. Our customers are consistently amazed at how simple and intuitive it is to use,” said Key. “This is a solution that saves our customers hundreds of hours of work – which becomes infinitely more valuable when your business is short-staffed.”

“Pre-pandemic, many casinos had compliance departments of roughly seven people. Post-pandemic, those departments are maybe comprised of three people max. And they’re still getting the job done with ComplianceCore, so they’re able to save roughly 4 FTEs worth of effort,” added Montano.

Customer-Centricity Yields Big Wins

“Because we work with casinos nationwide, we aren’t just accounting for federal regulations. Many of our casinos are tribal, so they have their own unique rules and regulations,” said Key. “Each state and tribe have their own distinct requirements. Maintaining compliance with each of them would be very difficult without a strong customer relationship.”

CasinoSoft meticulously configures the setup of ComplianceCore to meet the needs of their customers at the onset of their partnership. The lines of communication are always open, and CasinoSoft credits some of their best solution enhancements as ideas that have come directly from their customer base.

“Our customers come up with fantastic ideas for additional features or capabilities, and we’ve recognized when they can benefit others as well,” shared Key. “Whether it’s a request for split disbursements at the slot machine when a play hits jackpot or a new report, Matt will build it.”

To Key, CasinoSoft’s ability to respond effectively to evolving customer requests is attributed to the rapid development capacity they’ve gained through Mendix. “Typically, things don’t happen this quickly. It’s really a testament to Matt’s responsiveness combined with the power of Mendix,” she said.

“Ultimately, we keep in touch with our customers to anticipate what’s coming down the road. And with Mendix, we can respond very quickly with curated solutions,” shared Rogentine.

“And because of our customer-focused approach, we haven’t had a customer leave us – not a single,” she added.

Scalable Tech Supports Business Growth

Since implementing their Mendix-built solution, CasinoSoft has experienced remarkable growth and expansion. They currently oversee nearly 80 million transactions annually and have extended their capabilities to support a range of 200 to 5,500 slot machines.

“We’ve successfully figured out how to horizontally scale Mendix in large environments, allowing us to allocate different services to separate servers to maintain high performance and uptime,” Montano explained.

“Currently, some of our sportsbooks operate in twelve different states, where we monitor across various mobile apps and endpoints,” he added. “We’ve made significant leaps and bounds in our growth, and we continue to do so.”

Their growth path in 2023 includes two major properties on the Las Vegas Strip. “Our growing presence is indeed an exciting accomplishment,” Keys said. “In 2024 we are already expanding across the Pacific region, and in new States across the country. This may be our biggest year in growth yet!”

The importance of these projects and implementation of ComplianceCore in the casinos’ early days can not be understated.

“We help them build a solution that’s doesn’t just excel individually, but also has a connective tissue to weave everything together seamlessly. And when our customers succeed in this endeavor, it paves the way for us to excel in our role, too,” he said.

For Rogentine, she’s most proud of the customer experience CasinoSoft can now provide at all levels. “The quick turnaround and service that we can provide because of working with Mendix is a huge achievement for us as a team. You can see the dynamic when we’re on site together. We care about our product and our customers. Today, when customers approach us with a problem or concern, we can rapidly and effectively address it.”

Low-Code Solutions for Complex Problems

CasinoSoft’s journey reflects the transformative power of low-code in a traditionally complex and regulated industry. Mendix allows the team to harness domain knowledge, respond quickly to customer and industry changes, and extend their development capacity.

“A lot of our ability to support customers has to do with the Mendix platform, which eliminates the need for a dedicated team of developers for each individual product and the months of development work,” said Rogentine. “We call Mendix our second developer, and it really does free up a lot of our resources, allowing us to concentrate on our customers.”

“We divide and conquer. We’re a small team moving and going. It’s been an exciting journey and we’re growing. I’m proud to have been part of this small team that was involved in getting to this place,” added Key.

Today CasinoSoft not only tackles the complexity of compliance, but is redefining the industry standard and ensuring that their customers can thrive in an era of digital transformation.

“We’ve successfully created a world-class application and can confidently compete with anyone,” Montano said.