International edition
November 23, 2017 | Edition Nº3372

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

GLI offers LatAm regulators “best-of-both-worlds solution” following NMi acquisition

GLI offers LatAm regulators “best-of-both-worlds solution” following NMi acquisition
"As we look at the more developed gaming jurisdictions, we are very optimistic about 2018," Sierra-Hughes said.
Argentina | 11/06/2017

Speaking ahead of SAGSE Buenos Aires, GLI’s Sierra-Hughes highlights the exciting opportunities and developments taking place in the Latin American region.

G

LI was accredited as a certifying body in Mendoza. What other facts stand out of the performance of the company, in this market, this year? What are the projections for 2018?

2017 was a very strong year for GLI in Latin America and the Caribbean, and we were pleased to work side-by-side with regulators across the region. Looking into 2018, we will continue to work and assist regulators with policy development, with online gaming testing and consultation, and with training in our GLI University program and Regulator Roundtables. There are many exciting developments happening throughout the region, and we are looking forward to helping our clients achieve success. In addition, we are excited to see more Latin American and Caribbean suppliers and operators entering the market as well as implementing new regulations for their jurisdictions. We are watching for the development of new opportunities in the region and are pleased to help our clients in any way that we can.


How will the acquisition of NMi Gaming impact in Latin America, specifically in the Southern Cone? How are they positioned now in the market?

GLI’s clients and NMi Gaming’s clients around the world have been reacting very warmly to NMi’s joining GLI, and the impact has been positive for both companies’ clients. For example, NMi’s clients were able to immediately take advantage of GLI’s global reach and accreditation in 475 jurisdictions. Meanwhile, GLI’s clients also benefitted because GLI’s labs were able to provide even greater levels of service and attention. The same can be said for regulators in Latin America. Whether they rely on the land-based and lottery expertise of GLI or the added iGaming expertise of NMi, regulators now have a best-of-both-worlds solution.


How did each of these markets - Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay - behave this year? What are your plans in each of them for 2018?

As we look at the more developed gaming jurisdictions, we are very optimistic about 2018. The industry is fortunate to have an incredible collection of such seasoned and experienced regulators, and they are in an outstanding position to evolve their jurisdictions even further with forward-looking regulations. For example, Paraguay is beginning to license online gaming with land-based gaming. In Uruguay, regulators continue to work on adding further clarity to legal definitions of gaming and are paving the way for online gaming. Chile is a mature market where casinos in municipalities create more opportunities for the industry as a whole. Additionally, Chile, with public bids for municipal casinos in 2018, will be licensed next year. In Argentina, the market is benefitting from regulators having established a clear pathway for entry, which is attracting several suppliers who are interested in entering the market. Broadly speaking, this is a very exciting time for gaming in Latin America.


What is your assessment of the 10th Round Table of Latin American and Caribbean Regulators? Was the call expected? What were the results?

Almost 70 gaming and lottery regulators and government lottery representatives of 30 entities and two associations from 19 Iberoamerican and Caribbean countries attended our Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtable this year. Countries that were able to attend the conference include: Argentina; Aruba; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Curacao; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Jamaica; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; United States (Puerto Rico); Spain; Trinidad and Tobago; and Uruguay. Also the Association of Argentinean State Lotteries (ALEA) and the Iberoamerican Corporation of State Lotteries (CIBELAE) participated with their Presidents and members.

We listened to the regulator and government lotteries’ comments in 2016 and produced this year’s event with topics that targeted their most immediate and important needs. The topics were separated into three big groups: technology and innovation, policy and regulatory development, and the risk-based approach to the supervision of the industry. New to this year’s Regulators Roundtable was the introduction of working groups led by the regulator/lottery experts in their respective fields in order to provide attendees the opportunity to discuss specific topics of their interest. At the conclusion of the Roundtable, they were able to present the conclusions of the discussions to the group. We are already looking forward to the 2018 Regulators Roundtable, which will be held in Lima, Peru, and will start working with our regulators and lotteries to create another successful program.

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