BGLC Project Diary: Part Two - Computronix

BGLC Project Diary: Part Two

Moving Forward with Best Practices and People Power

 

Project Background

 

The Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission of Jamaica (BGLC) is implementing a ‘Powered by POSSE’ solution to automate the regulatory and control processes required for betting, gaming, and lottery operations within a comprehensive new enterprise Gaming Management Information System (GMIS).

In this ongoing blog series, we explore BGLC’s project journey from initial kick-off to go-live to see firsthand how the implementation of this new system will impact the people, plans, and processes for this future focused gaming agency.

Prioritizing ‘Quick Wins’ to Build Project Momentum

 

When last our project diary checked in with the good folks at BGLC, members of the Computronix team had traveled to Kingston to start the GMIS project in earnest with a series of kick-off meetings. Quickly building camaraderie and shared purpose among all participants, these project kick-off sessions evolved rapidly from participants getting to know each other to initial fit/gap sessions getting underway to help define project requirements with more precision.

With this collaborative, international project team now gaining momentum and structure around specific roles and responsibilities, project leaders worked diligently to facilitate the initial knowledge transfer and project documentation so critical to the success of a successful enterprise software implementation. With the project plan coming into clear focus, the decision was made to concentrate the initial phase of product configuration on four key license groups beneath the umbrella of an overarching ‘Fit and Proper’ license group and vetting process. In prioritizing these initial deliverables within the project plan, Project Manager Ken Hogan and Technical Consultant Albert Den Otter prudently prioritized core off-the-shelf license types within the POSSE GCS solution as suitable candidates for the early ‘quick wins’ so integral for achieving early momentum on an enterprise project of this scale.

Reflecting the scope of responsibilities for today’s modern gaming agency, these initial workflow groups equipped by the POSSE Gaming Control System help to demonstrate the ambitious scope of the GMIS project vision. From bookmakers to racing officials, lottery promoters to gaming premise operators, POSSE’s proven workflow automation was able to quickly equip robust licensing and due diligence business processes for a diverse range of license types and stakeholders, as follows:

Delivering Initial License Groups for GMIS

 

  1. Fit and Proper: Designed for compliance with emerging international gaming regulation standards, the ‘Fit and Proper’ system workflows help to vet prospective licensees via the necessary background checks and due diligence. Designed to ensure prospective licensees meet the core financial and legal requirements for jurisdictional/agency approval, this integral process functions to establishes the long-term viability of the successful applicant before progressing on to licensing evaluation criteria specific to a particular area of operation.
  2. Bookmaking Licenses and Due Diligence: Designed for licensed bookmaking operations in betting lounges, betting offices, sports betting outlets, etc., this configured license group functions to efficiently appraise applicant suitability across a broad range of bookmaking license types including bet writers, betting agencies, bookmakers, and bookmaker premises.
  3. Racing Promoter Licenses: This vital license group for racing regulation includes license types for racing promoters, track betting licensees, off track terminal operators, off track betting parlor operators, and racing promoter terminal operators.
  4. Lottery Promoter Licenses: Given the sheer breadth of product options now available in the lottery sector, this powerful license group facilitates streamlined licensing application, evaluation, and approval processes for lottery promoters, lottery agents, and lottery premises as well as approval to conduct charitable lotteries and prize competitions.
  5. Gaming Premises Operator Licenses: Covering everything from gaming lounges and hotels to retail outlets and grocery stores, the Gaming Premises Operator license group provides automation assisted workflows to efficiently progress a diverse range of license applicants including gaming machine operators and gaming lounge workers, as well as licenses for prescribed gaming premises and special event needs.

Within all the groups, automated workflows populate informative regulatory reports to ensure BGLC’s management teams are fully informed with the thorough and timely data required to make effective operational decisions.

By June of 2023, these 5 groups were made available within a secure, dedicated test environment to enable BGLC’s team to commence the work of User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Utilizing test scripts provided by Computronix’s product experts, BGLC stakeholders are now able to focus their testing on real world scenarios that occur frequently during live operations. Challenged to ‘break the system,’ BGLC staff are now able to get ‘hands on’ with each group with any issues spotted during the testing phase raised as ‘tickets’ in JIRA to facilitate prompt response and resolution by experienced product developers.

People Progressing in Partnership

 

As important as it is to get the technology right in an enterprise software implementation, it’s equally crucial to get the people part of the equation excelling. It is here the project teams at both BGLC and Computronix have put their best foot forward with both teams rising to the occasion from the start to do “whatever it takes” to ensure the success of this ambitious undertaking.

Following the example set by BGLC’s experienced leadership group, BGLC’s project staff are embracing a strategic effort to embrace and adopt demanding best practice methodologies in every aspect of their product configuration and implementation journey. Taking this significant step forward from a formerly manually intensive licensing process towards a deep feature gaming control system necessitates a steep learning curve and a commitment to change management from all agency staff. It is here that the famous Jamaican energy and enthusiasm shines through with BGLC project staff readily taking onboard the best practice guidance and technical recommendations provided by Computronix’s experienced system implementation experts.

To fully capitalize on BGLC’s obvious enthusiasm and innate gaming expertise, Hogan and Den Otter consistently leverage a hallmark of the Computronix approach to project delivery—our commitment to service. This commitment ensures their experienced project staff is doing everything possible to assist and overcome the resource constraints that inevitably occur as government agencies strive to balance their daily operational demands against the complex needs of a major new technology initiative. From overarching technology architecture to third party payment interfaces to project minutiae like setting up SSL certificates, two teams are now working as one to ensure no detail is missed however small it may appear in the grand scheme of things.

By staying open, communicative, and enthusiastic in these initial stages, project staff in both BGLC and Computronix are learning the complementary strengths of their counterparts. More importantly, by progressing in a spirit of partnership, both client and vendor are able to leverage these strengths in a fully collaborative effort that maximizes the strengths and experience of all involved.

“When I consider what’s likely to be the lasting memory from this project, it’s the people. The team at BGLC have been unbelievably accommodating and enthusiastic,” says Project Manager Ken Hogan.  This view is shared by Technical Consultant Albert Den Otter. “The cooperation from the client has been outstanding. Everyone at BGLC has been unbelievably gracious and friendly.”

Getting Ready for the Main Course

 

With five robust license groups now delivered for User Acceptance Testing, Project Leaders are now ready to progress from the initial ‘quick wins’ afforded by POSSE GCS’s off-the-shelf licensing workflows into more bespoke platform configuration specific to the unique and exacting regulatory requirements of BGLC’s operational footprint. In contrast to more limited COTS solutions that fail to provide an underlying development platform, it is here that the innate versatility of the ‘Powered by POSSE’ GCS system truly differentiates itself as a premium solution for the regulatory gaming sector.

In the next phase of the GIMS Project, detailed configuration work is set to commence on the following key deliverables:

  • Gaming Machine Management: The regulation of gaming machines in Jamaica represents unique challenges with machine standardization lacking and a competitive black market presenting challenges from an enforcement and compliance perspective. Through the provision of a fully realized Gaming Machine Management module, BGLC will be equipped to facilitate the necessary controls for machine inventory, decommissioning, tracking of machine transfers, and more.
  • TAJ (Tax Authority of Jamaica) Interface: Given the vital role that gaming revenues play in funding other critical government services, the TAJ interface that exchanges data between the Tax Authority of Jamaica and POSSE GCS for ongoing record management is a core deliverable for the GIMS Project. Not only will TAJ facilitate accurate financial reporting to ensure the proceeds from gaming machines are being fully tracked and remitted, but the interface will also facilitate a secure information conduit to enable the TAJ to render timely license approvals based on the financial information received.

If the five license groups were the project appetizers, the Gaming Machine Management module and the TAJ Interface represent the ‘main course’ of the project where the configured development capabilities of the POSSE Platform will be leveraged to the fullest to facilitate automation assisted workflows yielding the best practice client services and operational capabilities that BGLC is striving to achieve as a modern and forward-thinking regulatory gaming agency.

Next

 

In the next entry in our Jamaica Project Diary, we’ll see how work is progressing on the Gaming Machine Management module and TAJ Interface. In conjunction with these key project deliverables, we’ll also check in on the BGLC’s progress with data conversion, an always vital component in any new system implementation. Finally, we’ll take a look at the plans made being to facilitate impactful user training and change management approaches. With the new system becoming more available as the all-important ‘Go Live’ date approaches, how are stakeholders on both sides of the Caribbean Sea working together to ensure operational staff are preparing for full proficiency with their new system?