Zonke Monitoring Systems

Monitoring Solutions For The Gambling Industry

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Zonke Monitoring System dedicates 67minutes of Mandela Day towards the advancement of Mathematics and Science to a school in Ga-Rankuwa

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. – Nelson Mandela

Seven months after South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon’s death, his memory remains buoyant in the hearts of millions of South Africans. As part of its commitment to good corporate citizenship, Zonke Monitoring Systems (ZMS) has partnered with a progressive organization that runs the LEAP Science and Mathematics Schools.

In celebration and ensuring that the legacy of the great South African freedom fighter and an elder statesman lives on, Zonke Monitoring Systems staff led by their Chief Executive Officer Mr. Hosea Malope will partake in “67 minutes for Mandela Day”

In life, Mandela is estimated to have spent 67 of his 95 years being a man among men, serving his fellow men with such vigor that has immortalised his name and stature across the Globe.

The CEO of ZMS in encouraging members of his staff to actively participate in the activities of the day asserted that; “This is the first Mandela Day without Madiba. The responsibility lies in each and every one of us to live his legacy and drive the ethos of this iconic statesman to effect positive change in our communities, let us emulate the great servant leader we all loved and make every day a Mandela Day”.

The company will spend their 67 minutes painting and rejuvenating one of the Leap School Science and Mathematics School in Ga-Rankuwa Pretoria as part of the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative.

There exists a total of six Leap Schools in three of the nine SA provinces. The first two were established in the Western Cape in Langa and Gugulethu townships respectively, followed by three in Gauteng in Alexander, Diepsloot and Ga-rankuwa. The school in Limpopo is situated in Jane Furs.

The schools are run and maintained on contributions and support from private companies as they do not levy fees to their students. Their focus is to produce students that excel in both Science and Mathematics. Among the challenges of the targeted school that require attention are, renovations as the buildings are in a state of disrepair. There is a further need for a classroom for the first group of matric students for the year 2015, a Science laboratory and a library. Volunteers have been identified to give encouragement through motivational speeches to the learners as part of the activities on the day.

The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”

The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity and acknowledging his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”.

In closing the CEO of ZMS encourages good corporate citizenship among private sector companies to support initiatives that are aimed at improving the lives of all South Africans and addressing the historical inequities that continue to hinder economic growth. He further states that, “ECONOMIC GROWTH IS THE OXYGEN OF DEMOCRACY”.

 

 

Zonke Monitoring Systems

Offsite and on the ball

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February 2014, Security Services & Risk Management By Vusi Melane via http://www.securitysa.com

While CCTV cameras continue to be effectively deployed in various industries, limiting the number of manual guards required, the Site Data Loggers (SDLs) continue to remotely monitor Limited Payout Machines (LPMs) in the gambling industry.

 

Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Mike Voortman, MD at Verifier, an independent CCTV offsite monitoring company, and Hosea Malope, CEO at Zonke Monitoring Systems (ZMS), an independent remote monitoring company in the gambling industry. The important issues for customers in dealing with these two different companies are independence and the core competency aspects of the businesses.

 

Verifier provides an exclusively offsite monitoring solution, meaning the company does not supply/install equipment, provide guarding or any other related security products.

 

Voortman says estates often find it impractical and costly to monitor the main access control points which require manned security for access. Using offsite monitoring, guard and guardhouses can be eliminated. Moreover, smaller estates often prefer not to have manned security as the limited functions required result in bored security staff, who project a poor image. The elimination of the guardhouse frees up the capital for the required perimeter capex.

 

In business premises, afterhours lock-down monitoring is most effective – because guarding can be eliminated. With correct systems configuration, staff working late or arriving early can be visually escorted, with any perceived threat being voice challenged from the remote monitoring station. Where guarding cannot practically be eliminated, staff complements can be reduced by, for example, eliminating perimeter patrols on a 24/7 basis.

 

It’s not all positive however, as offsite monitoring can produce negative consequences if the process isn’t managed properly. Poorly configured and integrated equipment can make it impossible for the remote monitoring service to perform its tasks as intended. Additionally, poor bandwidth and unstable networks can negate the effectiveness of this solution, one where communication with client’s system and people is vital to service delivery.

 

Voortman is able to clarify the savings of an offsite monitoring surveillance service. He says a net saving per guard of approximately R250 000 over a 3-year period can be achieved (over and above the capitalisation of cost equipment). In addition, the fact that the security is enhanced and most often future proofed gives the client the added benefit of staying ahead of the curve.

 

“Developers can market their developments accordingly, while also advertising lower projected levies,” he adds. “And, though not statistically proven, it is clear that criminals prefer to target non-offsite monitored sites.”

 

Gambling on specialisation

 

Taking a different view of offsite monitoring, Hosea Malope, CEO at Zonke Monitoring Systems (ZMS), says that from a gambling perspective, ZMS installs SDL devices at customer sites to collect data from gambling machines. This data is then used to determine the gaming taxes due to the provinces and VAT to the treasury. Moreover, the system records more than revenue, including events, player’s activities and performs an asset management function. This secures and protects the casino as well as members of the public.

 

The systems can tell if a machine has been tampered with, whether in favour of gamblers or the casino, ensuring a regulated and fair playing field for all concerned.

 

When looking at offsite monitoring solutions in the gambling market, Malope says organisations must ensure they choose a partner that can implement systems that will save the organisation money in the long run. The system should require minimal human intervention so as to avoid manipulation and fraud. And it should be integrated with existing systems or technology to ensure that maximum benefit can be derived – such as integrating loyalty programmes.

 

While many companies prefer dealing with multi-skilled partners who can perform multiple jobs, Malope says the scope for specialist companies remains positive, especially in critical areas. He cautions, however, that these companies must be able to work with and integrate their systems with others to ensure the client receives a comprehensive, integrated solution.

 

Voortman adds that focused providers definitely have a future as long as they remain at the cutting edge. “Look at how specialists have mushroomed in other industries, health and safety, IT, Web, financial services, etc. Twenty years ago you only had one B.Com degree offered by universities, now there are many variations due to the market demanding specialisation.

 

“Increasingly complex trading conditions, technology demands etc require that a business sticks to its knitting. Seeing potential profits up or down the vertical is tempting, but many businesses fail as a result of entering areas which are not their speciality. Good installation companies do not necessarily provide solid monitoring services, for example.”

 

View the original article here: http://www.securitysa.com/7959a

Business Q&A with Hosea Molope, CEO: Zonke Monitoring Systems

published on 01/09/2014 via http://www.businessdaytv.co.za

 

The gambling industry is associated with unpredictability and risk but Zonke Monitoring Systems evens the odds for the limited payout machine industry. Cara Skikne spoke to CEO Hosea Molope.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO

 

Business Q&A probes the decisions made by top businessmen and women as we investigate what makes a great company.

The art of monitoring gambling machine systems

published on 11/26/2013 13:52:05 via http://www.cnbcafrica.com/

 

Zonke Monitoring Solutions is a company that equip gambling machines with a tech monitoring device to make sure casino owners aren’t rigging their machines. They monitor payouts and amounts, and over 000 casino machines across the country have already been fitted with the system. Tech Busters ‘Aki says he’s not a gambler, but after his visit to the Zonke offices we’re not too sure anymore.

 

 

Evening the odds: gambling tech makes sure the house doesn’t cash in

BY CHRISTO VAN GEMERT

 

Let’s face it, the thought of popping R1 into a slot machine and taking home R50 or R500 is quite appealing. What’s there to lose, besides R1?

 

Gambling, for better or worse, is something that exists. Thankfully, there are laws to protect consumers, and support groups to assist those who take it a little too far. Then there are the gatekeepers that make sure everything remains fair.

Those same laws remain the same for large casinos, and their systems are governed by internal checks and measures. For smaller operations, though, there’s a different process to follow. Every limited-payout machine (LPM; slot machines that are limited to take bets of up to R5, and pay out a maximum of R500) in the country is connected to a central system that makes sure operators are playing fair, and that players get back their fair share.

 

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Zonke Monitoring Systems is the government-appointed company that has the responsibility of, essentially, auditing all transactions from the country’s R30-million-a-week (gross revenue) LPM industry. Hosea Malope, CEO of Zonke, says that his firm was appointed by the gambling regulator as a single point of communications for all limited-payout slot machines – all 8 500 of them.

 

If that number sounds a bit low, that’s because it is. In fact, the maximum number of non-casino slot machines in South Africa at one point exceeded 120 000.

 

“In terms of the legislation, there can be up to 50 000 machines, nationally. Currently there’s just over 8 500 operating in eight provinces,” says Malope.

 

The ninth province – the Northern Cape – has yet to institute its gambling licenses for outlets that want to install LPMs.

 

“50 000 was basically based on what was on the ground in the early 90s. After 1994 when the new government decided to legalise gambling, there were a whole lot of operations – even operating in outlets that should not be operating gambling machines, like cafes.”

 

“There were an estimated 120 000 gambling machines. The regulators felt that we can get away with less than half that – that we should be able to accommodate about 50 000.”

 

50 000, though, has proven more than ample. Hosea points out that things like the socio-economic impact of gambling can have adverse effects, especially in poorer areas. Even casinos have limitations, and the government has a limit of 40 casinos, nationally. The limits are set for the good of the people – it’s about being a responsible regulator.

 

After the 90s, the government started with a clean slate. All operations were closed down, and under the new regulator operators were required to re-apply for the right to legally have slot machines on the floor. Given that most existing operators were illegal at the time, chances are they would not have been given new licenses.  Gambling operators now have to seek out venues where it’ll be viable and lucrative to have a few machines. Once that’s done, the owner of the chosen site undergoes a stringent check to make sure they have a clean record – and owning an existing business is near essential. It’s not possible for somebody to open a venue just for gambling.

 

Once all that’s complied with, Zonke steps in.

 

Malope says that there are minimum standards for how much a slot machine can retain (in terms of takings) and how much it has to pay out. These are not only set in the law, but the limits that each machine are set to operate by get enforced. On top of all the legal red tape for humans, Zonke’s monitoring systems are the red tape for the electronics.

 

In an unregulated environment, slot machines can be set to pay out whatever ratio of takings the site operator determines. However, ours is a regulated and monitored. If a machine is tampered with or if any parameters are changed, Zonke’s centralised monitor system immediately disables the machine and makes it unplayable – along with that being recorded as an event.

 

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Zonke’s site controllers bring all slot machine data to its servers.

 

Zonke Monitoring Systems’ central systems are hosted in Rosebank, with Internet Solutions. That’s where all data is stored – from information about the machines in operation around the country, to employees at certain sites, to those who work on the machines. When a new site is established – a diner, for instance – the entire movement of an LPM is recorded. That means it’s checked in at a warehouse, and when it gets shipped to a test facility that gets logged. When it’s moved from there to an installation site, it’s also logged. Finally, the database records another event for when the machine is set up and active at a site.

 

Fortunately, it’s all done digitally – and it’s in the name of having an audit trail. This way any unauthorised access to the machines can be flagged when the records show that procedure wasn’t followed.

 

Once set up and activated, all slot machines have to be connected to a site controller. These are networked boxes developed and supplied by Zonke. All LPMs are connected to Zonke’s site controllers, which then communicate with the central database. Everything is recorded in real time. Every single bet; how much money has been made; and when the door of the machine has been opened and closed. At the end of every day the site controllers upload the day’s data.

 

At the moment the uploaded data has to be audited manually, but Malope says that the newer software being implemented will have basic algorithms to assist with auditing. That way, data can be automatically highlighted for any anomalies – digital forensics that help humans. Along with this, the frequency of data logging will also be improved, with options for real time uploading or hourly check-ins.

 

Another future upgrade is the implementation of cashless machines. Rather than letting people walk around with pockets full of R1 coins, contactless payment cards are being rolled out. For this, too, Zonke will provide security and auditing. In fact, the only thing differentiating its software from that used by big casinos is the lack of support for handling jackpots – but that’s regulated by the industry, and LPMs cannot pay out rolling jackpots.

 

At the time the South African gambling regulator suggested a single, centralised system for limited-payout machines nothing else like it existed in the world. Since then, though, the concept that’s been thought up and implemented locally has seen some international recognition.

 

Mr. Malope, proud of Zonke’s achievements locally, points out that a few years ago New Zealand adopted a similar approach for its industry – and that says a lot about how sometimes we do get things right, here in South Africa.

 

The next time you pop R1 into a slot machine at a pub you stand as good a chance as anybody else of walking away with heavier pockets – most machines are set to pay out 80% of earnings and keep the other 20% – and Zonke’s watching to make sure it’s fair.

 

Update: A previous version of this article had incorrect facts about the turnover of the LPM gambling industry, as well as the provinces in which LPM regulations were instituted. These have been corrected.

 

To view the original article click here

 

18 September 2013

Kaya Bizz Podcast: Stevie B speaks to Hosea Malope

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Click here to listen to the interview

 

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