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GLI INTERVIEW


There’s no reason we couldn’t extend this to casino games or poker, bingo, any other products. That’s our hope, that the right people will continue to see that this is just another delivery channel. It can be adequately regulated, and with the proper technical standards and testing/ certification, it can be made to be fair and secure.


CI: So many U.S. states seem to have gone into this with baby steps, but the ones that have gone into it with mobile gaming have seen by far the greatest revenues; is the feeling in North America that perhaps mobile gaming may be a step toward problem gaming? Is there a reason why more states have not gone for the mobile model? SA: It’s a poignant question because of the prevalence of mobile handsets. What I think is that these states are dipping their toe in the water. Some states may have an all-in mentality, and just go for it, some others may say let’s not rush in but be more methodical because we may not be as comfortable going all-in. A wait-and-see approach. That’s what I think is the most likely reason, anyway. Certainly, there may be states that have more concerns over problem gaming or responsible gaming, that could be a factor, but I think time will tell. As regulators and the public see that, wow, having these delivery channels is really offering more forms of entertainment, are more easily accessible, and it is regulated in the same fashion, it is highly secure, it is functioning correctly; when they begin to see that I think we will see more states beginning to adopt mobile, or at least seriously consider it.


CI: I think part of why that seems surprising to me so far is that we are not talking about new technology – this is mature technology in use worldwide. So, there’s no trepidation about whether it will work… Doesn’t that then favour international companies that have been doing this for decades over American companies who might be relatively new to the scene? SA: Many suppliers we have been working with are from Europe moving into America. If anything, I think it might also be a matter of how much the states take on at once. You need to have a fair amount more understanding and more staff to wrap your head around multiple delivery channels over one or two. So again, there may be different levels of understanding, staffing, acceptance or palatability of the different channels from legislators or stakeholders; it’s myriad different factors, it’s not just any one thing.


CI: Does GLI play an advisory role at all at state level, or is it largely accreditation and assessment? SA: We’ve been engaged by various states as a consultant as they begin looking at regulating sports wagering and event


76 FEBRUARY 2020


wagering. We do offer those advisory services, as long as we ensure they don’t interfere with our independence as a testing lab. That’s very important. Once they have their technical standards and best practises in place, we usually work more directly with the operators and suppliers to do testing and certification for their products. If you think about the life cycle, it starts with an advisory role, then moves toward best practises and technical standards, then moves on to testing and certification services, then evolves into post-certification support, updates they may have or new delivery channels.


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