Exclusive interview with Karen Marcela Sierra-Hughes, Director of Latin America and Caribbean Government Relations and Business Development, GLI

GLI discusses emerging markets with regulators, operators at ICE

Karen Marcela Sierra-Hughes is pictured at the stand of GLI in London's ICE along with Christie Eickelman, Vice President of Marketing for GLI.

United Kingdom 
| 17/02/2017

ICE was an "excellent opportunity" for Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) to address the challenges that both the land-based and iGaming industries face, Ms. Sierra-Hughes tells Yogonet following the London event that took place on February 7-9.

 How would you the describe this year's edition of ICE?

ICE was a very good show for GLI. We were excited to see so many attendees from jurisdictions across EMEA and around the world, and that made our investments of time and stand space worthwhile. We were pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with regulators, operators and suppliers and to address their pressing questions about this new and exciting period in gaming.

The fact is, technologies evolve, and that means across Europe and worldwide, the land-based and iGaming industries are in a state of evolution and emergence. So, ICE was an excellent opportunity to personally meet with our clients and discuss challenges they are facing as well as unique solutions that will best meet their various needs.

What were the highlights of the fair? How was the feedback from customers and attendees?

Attendees on our stand were eager to discuss the many innovations displayed on the tradeshow floor, both in the land-based and iGaming offerings.

Our customer base of regulators, operators, and suppliers were also very interested in discussing emerging markets, such as the Czech Republic

What product would you say was “the star” of the show? Which solutions generated the most interest at your booth?

We had a great deal of interest in our testing services, professional services, and in our consulting services. As technology continues to evolve and have varying effects on different jurisdictions, we were happy to be able to offer our customers a variety of solutions to help them with their individual concerns. As we said before and during the show, testing and certification is only the tip of the iceberg of what GLI offers, and we are a one-stop shop that offers a complete range of services for regulators, suppliers and regulators.

What were the industry's hot topics during the event?

There was a great deal of interest and talk about Brazil, and certainly, if Brazil legalizes gaming, it will almost instantly become one of the biggest jurisdictions in Latin America

Of course, that means there is great interest from suppliers and operators regarding future opportunities. We are monitoring the situation closely, and legislators continue to work on a legal framework that will address the different types of gaming operations that will be allowed in the jurisdiction. That remains unresolved at this point. We must remember, these things take time, and like other jurisdictions, Brazil wants to be sure they do this right, allowing plenty of time to properly develop regulations.

How would you describe the current state of the gambling market?

This is an exciting time for gaming all around the world because technology continues to push the boundaries of what is new as well as what is allowable under current law. Regulators are keenly aware of new developments and the need to remain competitive against the larger entertainment industry. Jurisdictions will evolve in thoughtful ways as they balance the influx of new technologies with the need to maintain the public trust.

The technologies are new. However, the general situation is not. Gaming technologies have evolved for decades, and jurisdictions have responded in kind. Markets will continue to evolve, and we have every confidence in regulators. We stand at the ready to assist in any and every way we can.

What is the brand's main focus for this year? What are your business strategies for 2017? Are you targeting new markets this year?

The biggest trend that we anticipate for the European gaming markets in 2017 is the rise of interactive gaming and the challenge of fairly regulating iGaming activities. GLI has been the global leader in iGaming testing and certification, standards consultancy and thought leadership since 1996, and we are very proud of the role we have had in helping jurisdictions nurture such growth in this area. In 2013, we developed a technical standard, GLI-19: Interactive Gaming Systems, to help guide regulators and suppliers with development and regulation. This year, it is our goal to offer as much support to our clients as needed, helping them to flourish in the industry.


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