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From Zero to Hero with MrQ

Megan GrantPublished Apr 17, 2023 • Updated Jun 13, 2023
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The following content is based on a recent episode from the MongoDB Podcast. Want to hear the full conversation? Head over the to episode page!
When you think of online gambling, what do you imagine? Big wins? Even bigger losses? Whatever view you might have in your mind, MrQ is here to revolutionize the industry.
MrQ is redefining the online casino gaming industry. The data-driven technology company saw its inception in September 2015 and officially launched in 2018. CTO Iulian Dafinoiu speaks of humble beginnings for MrQ — it was bootstrapped, with no external investment. And to this day, the company maintains a focus on building a culture of value- and vision-led teams.
MrQ wanted to become, in a sense, the Netflix of casinos. Perfecting a personalized user experience is at the heart of everything they do. The idea is to give players as much data as possible to make the right decisions. MrQ’s games don’t promise life-changing wins. As Dafinoiu puts it, you win some and you lose some. In fact, you might win, but you’ll definitely lose.
Gambling is heavily commoditized, and players expect to play the same games each time — ones that they have a personal connection with. MrQ aims to keep it all fun for their players with an extensive gaming catalog of player favorites, shifting the perception of what gambling should always be: enjoyable. But they’re realists and know that this can happen only if players are in control and everything is transparent.
At the same time, they had deeper goals around the data they were using.
”The mindset was always to not be an online casino, but actually be a kind of data-driven technology company that operates in the gambling space.”

The challenge

In the beginning, MrQ struggled with the availability of player data and real-time events. There was a poor back office system and technical implementations. The option to scale quickly and seamlessly was a must, especially as the UK-based company strives to expand into other countries and markets, within a market that’s heavily regulated, which can be a hindrance to compliance.
Behind the curtains, Dafinoiu started with Postgres but quickly realized this wasn’t going to give MrQ the freedom to scale how they wanted to.
”I couldn’t dedicate a lot of time to putting servers together, managing the way they kind of scale, creating replica sets or even shards, which was almost impossible for MariaDB or Postgres, at the time. I couldn’t invest a lot of time into that."

The solution

After realizing the shortcomings of Postgres, MrQ switched to MongoDB due to its ease and scalability. In the beginning, it was just Dafinoiu managing everything. He needed something that could almost do it for him. Thus, MongoDB became their primary database technology. It’s their primary source of truth and can scale horizontally without blinking twice. Dafinoiu saw that the schema flexibility is a good fit and the initial performance was strong. Initially, they used it on-premise but then migrated to Atlas, our multi-cloud database service.
Aside from MongoDB, MrQ uses Java and Kotlin for their backend system, React and JSON for the front end, and Kafka for real-time events.
With a tech stack that allows for more effortless growth, MrQ is looking toward a bright future.

Next steps for MrQ

Dafinoiu came to MrQ with 13 years of experience as a software engineer. More than seven years into his journey with the company, he’s looking to take their more than one million players, 700 games, and 40 game providers to the next level. They’re actively working on moving into other territories and have a goal of going global this year, with MrQ+.
”There’s a lot of compliance and regulations around it because you need to acquire new licenses for almost every new market that you want to go into."
Internally, the historically small development studio will continue to prioritize slow but sustainable growth, with workplace culture always at the forefront. For their customers, MrQ plans to continue using the magic of machine learning to provide a stellar experience. They want to innovate by creating their own games and even move into the Bingo space, making it a social experience for all ages with a chat feature and different versions, iterations, and interpretations of the long-time classic. Payments will also be faster and more stable. Overall, players can expect MrQ to continue reinforcing its place as one of the top destinations for online casino gaming.
Want to hear more from Iulian Dafinoiu about his journey with MrQ and how the platform interacts with MongoDB? Head over to our podcast and listen to the full episode.

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Table of Contents
  • The challenge