Igaming Focus: GLI shows knowledge is power when it comes to testing and certifying igaming

Igaming Focus: GLI shows knowledge is power when it comes to testing and certifying igaming

  • Hannah Gannagé-Stewart, CDC Gaming Reports
October 29, 2020 6:17 PM
  • Hannah Gannagé-Stewart, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

Kevin Mullally explains how myths around the control and regulation of igaming have been dispelled in the U.S.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has around 30 years’ experience in testing, certification and standards consultancy in the gaming industry, so when the U.S. began re-regulating gaming products, the company was high on the list for calls from emerging jurisdictions.

In September, it became the first independent test lab authorised by the Michigan Gaming Control Board to test and certify igaming and mobile sports betting in the state, and it has also recently been approved by the Tennessee Lottery to test sports wagering platforms.

GLI Vice President of Government Relations and general counsel Kevin Mullally says the firm has been part of “a collaborative industry effort that has made incredible strides in educating policy makers” about the safety and security of igaming as it gradually emerges across the U.S.

“The AGA, AGEM, IAGA, CGA, and other associations involving gaming regulators have largely dispelled any myths or misnomers regarding there not being an ability to isolate mobile technology within a jurisdictional border, to authenticate customers and their age, to provide protections for problem gambling or to safeguard against money laundering”, he says.

Mullally, who has been with GLI for 14 years, but previously spent more than a decade at the Missouri Gaming Commission, firmly believes education is the key to paving the way for greater adoption of modern gaming technologies.

He says the testing results from jurisdictions already regulating igaming technology clearly reveal it can be controlled and regulated. “We haven’t had problems with underage gambling, we have proof that geolocation works, and consumers now have more tools to manage their gambling experience and help prevent problem behavior than ever before”, he says.

“In our experience, education is everything when it comes to putting regulators and policy makers at ease in accepting these new technologies, and GLI is always there to support in this realm.”

Mullally says probably the biggest lesson learnt by the industry this year has come from COVID-19. It proved that the gaming industry can re-tool itself to provide a safe environment for its customers during a pandemic. “Mobile gaming technology is part of our future, because it responds to consumer needs, while also safeguarding them”, he points out.

“Operators have done a remarkable job of creating a safe entertainment environment while other industries have struggled. Early in the pandemic, I remember reading a comment from a public health official making a broad, over-reaching claim that casino environments were far too risky to reopen until the pandemic was behind us. Yet our industry has been able to reconfigure the gaming floors and use advance air cleaning and other technology to create safe places for people to be entertained.”

On top of that, Mullally points to the many new jurisdictions that have deployed mobile gaming technology and payment solutions, which allow consumers access to safe entertainment options and to share the experience with their friends without having to be in the same location.

“When we emerge from the pandemic, we will see continued growth and value by giving consumers these choices, and we expect 2021 will witness a substantial growth in the number of jurisdictions that embrace remote gaming technology and electronic payment solutions that protect consumers,” Mullally predicts.

“Clearly, sports betting has been the biggest part of this expansion in the past year, and it is only the beginning. Next year and beyond will see continued growth in number of delivery channels for gaming content and the variety of entertainment options available to consumers.”

As that growth happens, GLI is likely to be close to the planning and development of projects and licensing regimes. It is already the only test lab working with every existing and emerging jurisdiction within and beyond the US.

“The reason GLI is often the first call policy makers and regulators make is that we always focus on first learning what they want to achieve before we conduct the analysis resulting in our advice. We don’t do ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘cut and paste’”, Mullally says.

He adds that it is important to understand the nuances of every jurisdiction, fully understanding what makes them unique and what policy objectives they have. However, the firm will provide examples of what other jurisdictions have done and discuss why certain choices were made.

“Most importantly, we devote substantial resources to each project, so that it can move forward expeditiously and not get bogged down in endless and prolonged consultation”, Mullally explains.

“Sound policy will always be the top priority, and we must keep of the value of speed to market at the top of mind.”