Muckleshoot Casino – relying on the right system
Efficiency, accuracy, security and productivity are the most important criteria for success in casino count rooms. Muckleshoot Casino in the American Northwest shows how investing in a new system for banknote processing can significantly improve all the framework conditions for a soft count team.
In 2012, the compliance manager and controller for Muckleshoot Casino (in the US state of Washington) drove to the nearest Bank of America branch that had a central cash vault. They had cash in mind – not depositing it or withdrawing it, but seeing banknotes in action.
The reason for the trip was that Rhonda McDaniel, Compliance Manager in the largest casino in the American Northwest, knew that her own soft count system used to tally its revenue was flawed. When errors occurred – not infrequently – they not only also caused problems for the other departments in the casino, but also had a negative influence on the team itself: her colleagues had to rely on a system that had repeatedly proven to be unreliable.
“The most difficult part of a soft count is not the actual count,” reports McDaniel. “All employees stay in one room until their work is complete. If the equipment fails, and re-counting is needed, this automatically means that people need to stay where they are for longer.”
The old system consisted of three machines which were not integrated with one another, and were insufficiently integrated with the casino itself: a floor area of 328,000 sq ft. filled with over 3,000 gaming machines and 103 gaming tables, as well as a gift shop, a nightclub, and eight dining estalishments.
The available processing systems could not read tickets or sort notes by orientation, and could only strap (bundle) $20 banknotes, resulting in many manual processes. In addition, repairs could be lengthy, taking hours of even days. While repairs were being made, every count had to be carefully performed by hand – in a chaotic environment and with added controls over all external forces in order to guarantee security. And there were consequences: based on data from Entrepreneur.com, inefficiency in companies can result in a 20-30% reduction in annual income.
It was clear to me that a new, clean, fast, and precise system would save both time and effort, as well as money.«
Analysis of existing situation
In 2015, the new General Manager of Muckleshoot Casino, Conrad Granito, commissioned an extensive assessment of the current situation, which identified an urgent need for changes in cash processing. “When I took on the role, I immediately saw parallels with other soft count teams – from long working hours to ineffective technology. It was clear to me that a new, clean, fast, and precise system would save both time and effort, as well as money.”
After the Bank of America visit and second trip to the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas to see the system in action, the team was sold on the BPS® M5 from Giesecke + Devrient Currency Technology. The BPS® M5 is a commercial currency processing solution designed specifically for banking and casino environments. It is the highest speed system on the market, processing up to 75,000 banknotes per hour and can face currency, read tickets and bundle multiple denominations.
Facts relating to the BPS® M5
The BPS® M5 increases productivity in cash processing.
Speed variants for 80,000 or 120,000 banknotes per hour
Unique sensors for all-over authenticity assessment, and highly accurate fitness sorting
Up to 5 output modules, each with 4 stackers and banders, or with 2 large output chutes for high volumes of loose banknotes
Faster and more precise counting
The arrival of the BPS® M5 immediately yielded results at Muckleshoot: the soft count team worked with greater speed and precision, and the number of notes processed per day increased from around 207,000 to 212,000. Error rates, interruptions, and repairs were reduced, and any faults that occurred could generally be resolved just by restarting. High noise level is a thing of the past, with the machines’ buzz now the only sound. This rise in efficiency increased the count volume by 25%, with the result that 450 additional gaming machines could be counted every day – while also saving money as a result of reduced energy consumption.
New operational sequences in the soft count team meant that fewer tasks required completion in the count room, and all rosters and shift plans were reorganized. The BPS® M5 had saved more than 33,000 working hours by the end of 2016, with an additional 8,000 hours of savings expected in the current year. “The BPS® M5 from G+D Currency Technology enables the soft count team to do its job properly, and finish it on time,” comments McDaniel, reporting on their experience. “G+D’s motto is “Creating Confidence” and it’s not hyperbole. This product has inspired our confidence.”
The BPS® M5 from G+D Currency Technology enables the soft count team to do its job properly, and finish it on time.«
The team benefits as well
Granito also highlights how the system positively affects team members and their environment: “Working in the count room can be very stressful – it’s a locked room without any windows, and every movement is monitored. Knowing that the machine is functioning and doing its job improves morale among all employees.” Randy Meade, a team leader in the soft count area of Muckleshoot Casino, appreciates the closer collaboration: “Using three separate machines meant that everyone worked separately, whereas today we can all pull together. We are familiar with our tasks and know what we need to do.” What’s more, he also confirms that extensive automation has significantly reduced the error rate.
The system from G+D Currency Technology also enables employees in the soft count team to intervene and make corrections themselves, before problems occur. Two Muckleshoot employees went on a two-week intensive training course in Virginia, to learn how to perform maintenance work and basic repairs on the BPS® M5. Further support is just a telephone call away. In addition, a G+D Currency Technology representative can be on-site in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
The ‘one size fits all’ approach falls short for count rooms in the casino industry.«
Productivity and efficiency
“Our overarching goal is to improve efficiency, productivity, and accuracy in every count room, while retaining maximum security,” comments Jim Goodwin, Global Business Development Director at G+D Currency Technology for Casinos. He went on to say that it is important to develop an individual solution for each count room, ensuring it dovetails with operational sequences. “This can only be achieved if the building layout is taken into account, and if it is possible to offer appropriate software and produce modular systems in order to adapt all elements to specific requirements.” Goodwin concludes that the ‘one size fits all’ approach falls short in this industry.
For Granito, the partnership with G+D Currency Technology pays more than just financial dividends: “Based on the cost analysis and return on investment, the machine is working better and more quickly than expected. In addition, we have been successful in creating a work environment that functions for everyone involved.” Granito believes “That’s part of our job as leaders. We have to find, buy, and make available to the team the right tools for them to reap the full benefits.”