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With this as a background, GSA is in initial discussion with the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) on the regulatory aspects of G2S, S2S, GAT (remote validation protocol), and Transport & Security Standards. GSA’s European tour continues when DeRaedt speaks in early February at the Holland Casino Rotterdam, where he will deliver an update on gaming communication standards and other global initiatives.

Throughout 2011, GSA will focus most directly on

operators. DeRaedt explains: “Operators continue to be the key. Suppliers can create incredible devices, test labs can certify them, and regulators can approve them. But the real magic cannot happen until operators implement them on their casino floor.”

GSA also helps in building a dialogue between

operators and to regulators. “A great deal of our time at G2E and now at ICE is spent with operators and regulators, helping them to understand the benefits of standards. For operators, it is a question of them seeing GSA certified devices from suppliers.”

Regulators are quickly coming to GSA’s side,

particularly in Canada and in several U.S. states. “2010 was a very interesting year on the regulatory front in North America. We were very pleased that regulators in Maryland, in Oregon and in many Canadian provinces issued recommendations for using GSA standards in several RFPs. We are also monitoring a continually developing situation in Illinois where legislation seems to be advancing that could require suppliers to use GSA standards to communicate with a central system,” DeRaedt says.

These developments are of particular interest to jurisdictions in Europe, where central systems are very similar to those in Canada, and regulators everywhere in Europe have been closely watching the moves being made by their North American counterparts.

The benefits of GSA standards to regulators are clear and plentiful, because they bring well-defined communication protocols developed and endorsed by the industry. They can be tested using more off-the- shelf tools; and using today’s skill sets, they offer encryption (that simply does not exist in SAS), and they include GSA certification checklists that make it easy to determine what the supplier does or does not support. Additionally, GSA has built-in remote game authentication capabilities that allow regulators to either locally or remotely validate software, which brings increased integrity and audit-ability. Regulators have been actively involved in the creation of the latest GSA standard, GAT 3.50.

operators and suppliers before suppliers even begin the R&D process. The organization’s “Operator Advisory Committee” provides a forum for operator input. “This is a neutral place where operators can tell suppliers, ‘This is what I need for my business. This is what I need from you to help me be successful.’”

The feedback from the OAC has been extremely

valuable to GSA members. For example, as a result of the feedback received from the OAC in 2010, GSA’s own technologies advanced on several fronts, including S2S download capability for WAN; G2S occupancy meter for WAN; Daylight Saving Time adjustment for WAN; audit meters for WAN; player enrollment; and additional messages to improve player communication.

“The bottom line is, GSA membership in 2011 is more important than ever.”

If response to the new devices shown at G2E and ICE is any indication, it is safe to assume that more and more operators are looking to deliver a total player experience across the entire operation. To help facilitate that experience, GSA is collaborating with other industry associations on items such as standards development efforts, further emphasizing its focus on operators.

DeRaedt says, “The bottom line is, GSA membership in 2011 is more important than ever. Whether you’re an operator or a supplier, implementing GSA standards will help you create even better business models, and make you part of a growing open standards community that will keep you competitive, secure, and positioned for future growth in the years to come. And we are here to help, every step of the way.”

54 FEBRUARY 2011

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