As the gaming industry continues to boom, as more jurisdictions legalize sports betting and igaming, and as technology becomes increasingly complex, companies seek ways to be more competitive and cost-efficient.
Tech advances, according to Christos Karountzos, a senior account executive with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), add another layer of complexity that GLI is able to seamlessly navigate.
“Our mandate is to evaluate and report on gaming software, devices, and systems against the standards established, or adopted in the case of GLI standards, by the relevant gaming jurisdictions worldwide,” Karountzos says. “And most importantly, to work with all gaming suppliers, operators and regulators to ensure that any products that go to any live regulated market are of the highest caliber of quality, that they’re fair, secure and auditable.”
Founded in 1989 and based in Lakewood, New Jersey, GLI has certified millions of gaming submissions from casino games and slots to lottery devices, both in land-based venues and online. The company helps suppliers work with diverse regulations in more than 480 global jurisdictions.
Those jurisdictions often may have unique regulations that can be complex. Instead of the manufacturer trying to figure out the varied requirements on their own, GLI’s pre-compliance testing, which is specifically designed to detect and address functional and compliance-related issues early in the product development lifecycle, could save suppliers and operators valuable time and money that can be applied to other areas of their business growth.
Recently, GLI was asked to help a tech start-up that wanted to present new technologies to online gaming and sports betting. The start-up was convinced that legacy technology, sometimes more than 15 years old, was outdated and that its new tech could help the gaming industry compete with other forms of entertainment.
But the tech start-up needed additional insights to achieve its goals. “They had a clear vision of how to make their platform and tech more modern; however, they needed our pre-compliance help in determining the best path forward,” Karountzos says.
In some cases, with new gaming technology concepts, there may be friction experienced when new technology doesn’t fit nicely into traditional gaming categories or standards. Karountzos notes that this often happens because some regulations, written years ago, may not have been kept up with or updated yet to allow for new cutting-edge developments.
“The technology might not have even existed (when the regulations) were written,” Karountzos says.
GLI was able to advise the company on compliance, standards, best practices, and the nuances between technical regulations across multiple jurisdictions. And GLI’s pre-compliance testing and regulatory advisory support services enabled the start-up to avoid potential delays and cost increases that would otherwise have been necessary due to retrofits needed to adhere to jurisdictional requirements.
Noting that technology “evolves every day,” Karountzos thinks it’s incumbent for GLI to work closely with regulators to help them understand and assess the impacts and opportunities that new technologies may have, in order to support them in their decisions on adapting their regulations and technical standards accordingly, thereby still allowing gaming suppliers to evolve.
“As gaming technology continues to evolve, so do regulators. Because we have close relationships with regulators, suppliers benefit from GLI’s pre-compliance testing and regulatory advisory services, because we can help them understand regulators’ points of view, rather than be shooting in the dark.”
According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), the industry generated $29.16 billion through the first half of 2022, a year-over-year increase of approximately 18%. Of the 31 regulated gaming jurisdictions operating in 2021, 22 experienced revenue increases in the second quarter of 2022, and nine states reported quarterly revenue records.
With mergers and acquisitions happening left and right, money pouring in, and with so much at stake, GLI’s pre-compliance and regulatory support practices can not only help gaming suppliers and operators get to market more quickly, but also deal with innovations in new areas, such as the metaverse, non-fungible tokens, and cryptocurrency.
“People are already talking about ideas they have on how they’re going to implement all of these things and others into gaming,” Karountzos says. “It’s possible that’s where gaming is moving to. That’s why we have to be on top (of such developments). We always keep abreast of new trends to anticipate and best prepare for the future. This way, our global base of supplier, operator, and regulatory customers is best positioned for their growth and success!”