The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is a Provincial agency, established February 23, 1998 under the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996. The Act gave the AGCO responsibility for the administration of the Liquor Licence Act and the Gaming Control Act, 1992.
AGCO has a mandate to regulate the sale, service, and consumption of beverage alcohol to promote moderation and responsible use, and ensure that casino and charitable gaming is conducted in the public interest, by people with integrity, and in a manner that is socially as well as financially responsible.
AGCO has responsibility for Inspecting and monitoring more than 20 casinos, charity casinos and slot operations at racetracks and charitable gaming events/facilities.
The previous manual system of inspections against the comprehensive and exacting requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996, was problematic. The physical size of the regulations, the need for constant referral, and the challenges of monitoring and reporting in a consistent manner highlighted the need for a more efficient monitoring system.
AGCO has responsibility for Inspecting and monitoring more than 20 casinos, charity casinos and slot operations at racetracks and charitable gaming events/facilities for compliance with the Gaming Control Act 1992, its regulations and licence requirements.
A team of more than 10 inspectors are located throughout Ontario and have considerable autonomy in their daily work. Managing this diverse and geographically widespread team has presented unique challenges to AGCO management, who need to keep in close touch with emerging compliance issues, and prepare consolidated reports on compliance activities to government officials.
The manual system of inspections against the comprehensive and exacting requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996, soon became problematic. The physical size of the regulations, the need for constant referrral, and the challenges of monitoring and reporting in a consistent manner highlighted the need for a more efficient monitoring system.
Jean Persaud, Manager, Business Systems Development and Support, was tasked with the job of defining and sourcing a suitable new system. Jean reports: “At an early stage it was identified that a key requirement for us was that the new system had to use mobile computing tools. We could not see the logic in retaining any system that could not utilise PC technology”.
Early enquiries turned up nothing, but eventually a search on Hewlett Packard’s website turned up a positive lead and the connection was made with Compliance Experts in Melbourne, Australia.
Compliance Experts’ Compliance Checkpoint™ application provided a close fit with AGCO’s specifications for the system. In particular, the ability for inspectors to use mobile technology to carry out their inspections, and the ability to create many different audit checklists were key elements. Of overriding importance, the fact that AGCO could host the web application within their secure firewall providing the security needed for the compliance operation.
Compliance Experts assigned a senior executive to manage the exposure of the product to the AGCO project team. Using its web based Compliance Checkpoint application, Compliance Experts was able to provide live demonstrations via tele-conferencing, and AGCO were provided access to familiarise themselves with application functionality. A key factor in this early success was the use of internet technology to promote and demonstrate the product.
“The great thing from our point of view”, says Compliance Experts’ Paul Molenaar, “is that there was nothing unusual about AGCO’s requirements, in relation to the capabilities of the software. It has given us a huge boost in confidence.”
Compliance Experts personally supervised the installation of the application and assisted with the smooth introduction of the system in AGCO’s Toronto headquarters.
Immediately after installation, a 2 day training program was presented to AGCO inspectors.
AGCO personnel took to the program with enthusiasm, and were soon able to carry out live audits using the mobile Checkpoint application running on tablet technology.
On return to the office each day, they connect and upload the day’s inspection results, then use a PC based web browser to log on to Compliance Checkpoint to prepare audit reports and detail particular findings.
“The system can be accessed simultaneously by any of our inspectors or managers, anywhere in the province.” says Jean Persaud.
“Management can review results without leaving their desks, and see live results while in discussion with inspectors.”
Richard Taylor, AGCO’s Director of Audit and Gaming Compliance, reports:
“The system has provided a major increase in efficiency, particularly in being able to report on compliance monitoring activities. The new application and its ability to record and report on compliance issues has placed us in a leadership position amongst provincial government departments”.
“While we have experienced a few teething problems with the system, we have been more than happy with Compliance Experts’ ability to troubleshoot and quickly resolve these. The fact that they are based on the other side of the world has not made any difference to the level of support we have received, in fact we have found Compliance Experts extremely flexible and able to customise the application to our specific reporting needs.”
“We have a high tech system that uses the latest technology and we are very impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the application running on our IT resources.”
Compliance Experts is an Australian-based audit consultancy and software development house, specializing in compliance management solutions.
Complementing their world-class audit services, Compliance Experts’ software products enable any type of audit, assessment or survey to be set up and conducted on-screen and, if required, via the Web, with users having complete control over audit structure, formation, security and content.