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GSA comes of age
The start of 2010 brings big changes for the gaming industry, certainly
on the supplier side, as the widely used SAS protocol is no longer
receiving support, and the GSA’s Game to System (G2S) is becoming
the new protocol of choice. Casino International met the Gaming
Standards Association President Peter DeRaedt to find out more…
rotocols are, in technology terms, a set of so that any future business requirement or
rules governing the exchange (or functionality that SAS was required to support was
transmission) of data between devices; it’s implemented correctly. SAS then grew through
understandable then, that in a slot various versions, up to 6.02, the last version of the
machine protocols are vitally important protocol.
with so many peripherals needing to talk to one
another. Of course, over the years many proprietary CI: If that’s the last version, what’s next?
protocols have sprung up, putting pressure on PD: As of January 2010, the industry will no longer
machine manufacturers to make sure everything extend the functionality of the SAS 6.02 protocol.
communicates smoothly. Therefore, the change management, or oversight of
In steps the Gaming Standards Association, with its the protocol, by GSA, will cease to exist, and the
noble aim to standardize protocols and make life technology goes back to IGT. That will have a big
easier for, well, everyone associated with slots, impact on the industry. There are a lot of machines
peripherals and gaming. still using SAS technology in the world, and as an
We interviewed GSA President Peter DeRaedt to industry, we will no longer add functionality. The
find out what it’s all about, and what’s happening in
early 2010 that’s such a big deal for the GSA…
There is no point in
Casino International: Tell us about the GSA –
expanding an old
where did the organisation come from?
Peter DeRaedt: The association was formed in May
technology, while at the
1998, incorporated as a non-profit organisation. We
same time trying to drive
developed a mission statement at the time which is
still very relevant today [see pull quote].
innovation through the
adoption of our new
CI: What does the association actually do?
PD: We are an international trade association that
technology, which is G2S.
works to create benefits for the gaming industry –
manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators. industry has finally agreed to start pulling GSA
We facilitate the identification, definition, standards into the market. There is no point in
development, promotion and implementation of open expanding an old technology, while at the same time
standards to enable innovation, education and trying to drive innovation through the adoption of
communication. In 2001 we identified that SAS was our new technology, which is G2S.
the predominant or de-facto communication
standard used by the industry. We approached IGT, CI: If you’re a non-profit organisation, how are
who owned SAS, and they handed over the change you funded?
management of the protocol to GSA. PD: Member dues directly support GSA. We
SAS had become the de-facto industry standard started with eight members, in 1998, and we’ve grown
protocol due to the market share IGT enjoyed in the to more than 70 member companies. GSA started as a
world, specifically in the United States, but also vendors’ community, focusing on manufacturers
around the world. It is the dominant proprietary working together. In 2000 we opened the door to
technology used to exchange information between a operators, because they are the key to driving new
gaming device and the back-of-house casino technologies in the market.
monitoring system. We’ve grown from a budget of $150,000 to more
Early in 2002 we established the SAS Committee, than $2 million, and that growth has enabled us to
28 FEBRUARY 2010
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