Few businesses can boast a full-on professional review every month, but it's happening routinely at quality online casinos.
Most online gamblers have seen the detailed monthly reports of percentage payouts for individual casinos, but many do not realise how valuable this information is, or how much time and professional care goes into its preparation.
The pioneers of the process, called Total Gaming Transaction Review (TGTR)©, were multi-national professional services group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and turnkey software provider Microgaming. The process was subsequently adopted by other software providers such as Boss Media, Casino On Net and Cryptologic.
The program is well named because it requires the independent collation and full analysis of all game transaction data, for all games on each casino and for all currencies. Rigorous validation and balance checks authenticate the data throughout the process.
PwC, which operates in 150 countries in 24 diverse market sectors and has a staff of some 160 000 has explained the process in detail:
Data Collection: Each and every bet and payout transaction at all casinos is recorded on a dedicated server each day throughout the month, working from midnight at the beginning of the month to midnight at the end of the month.
This data is double validated to ensure that no information is missing by balancing the data on the dedicated server to that on each live gaming server.
In addition, further checks are performed by balancing the dedicated server data with the casino operator database.
Financial Reconciliation: However, this is not the end of the process. An independent financial reconciliation is then carried out by PwC to confirm the Closing Balance for each casino. This is done by balancing the total wagered and payout amounts to movements on players account balances.
This Calculated Closing Balance is then matched to the Actual Closing Balance, which is the sum of all players' balances on the casino's live gaming server at exactly midnight on the final day of the month.
In the event that the data is not complete or incorrect, the reconciliation as mentioned above will not balance and PwC will perform further investigations on all differences. No reports are issued for casinos with unresolved differences.
Other sophisticated techniques such as trend analysis and bet volumes are routinely used to ensure consistency and that all figures are in line with the norm.
Percentage Payout Report: Only when these exhaustive tests are complete will PwC prepare and publish the percentage payout reports for each casino. Reports are only issued to casino's where PwC are satisfied that all reconciliation's balance and trends are explained.