Joe Bunevith, GLI’s Director of Client Solutions

“The pandemic became a perfect catalyst for the movement toward cashless gaming”

Joe Bunevith, Director of Client Solutions at GLI.
Reading time 4:01 min
In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Joe Bunevith explained how the company readies to return to G2E Las Vegas, he reflects on the company’s expectations in the Ontario online gaming market, and the challenges the company is facing amid the pandemic. He further examines the challenges GLI has faced with emerging cashless tech and finally, shares the company’s future plans in the US.

What will be the main novelties, products, and services that the company will present and focus on this year in Las Vegas?

GLI’s team of professionals will be at G2E to help customers with four categories of compliance offerings, including regulatory compliance, technical compliance, end-to-end testing, and full lifecycle compliance. With the rapid rise of sports betting and iGaming, we’re ready to support the needs of those industries as well. Our team is always preparing for what’s next, with experts on the ground around the world, in terms of technology and cybersecurity. Our sports betting, iGaming, and cybersecurity experts will be at booth 4430 to address questions on any jurisdiction or product. We’re always ready to help guide clients through the ever-changing gaming landscape.

Considering the current pandemic scenario, which has been going on for a year and a half, what is your expectation of this G2E's return to Las Vegas?

We are excited that G2E is back in Las Vegas and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone. G2E organizers have implemented increased health and safety measures so we can all stay safe in the current environment.

What are GLI's expectations regarding the online gaming and single-game sports betting market that is launching in Ontario? How will the company contribute to said opening and regulation in its role as a testing laboratory?

The future is full-on iGaming. The next generation is going to expect this. They’re not going to fear putting money online. They’re not going to fear downloading an app. ‘Is there an app for that?’ isn’t even a question for them. What the next generation wants is what gaming needs to embrace and we’re excited to support this new online and sports betting marketplace. GLI is contributing to the market as one of the approved independent test labs chosen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). That means we’re authorized to test and certify iGaming components such as games, random number generators, and platforms/RGS. We’re the only lab working with all existing and emerging jurisdictions worldwide, and we’re excited to help AGCO navigate the new opportunities in Ontario for iGaming.

What can you further share regarding the learnings and feedbacks the company has had with the Illuminating Conversations streaming series recently launched?

The feedback on Illuminating Conversations has been very positive. The show is hosted by GLI CEO James Maida, and he has one-on-one, in-depth conversations with some of the biggest names in gaming. People have been tuning in to hear about the challenges and innovations impacting the gaming industry. You’ll also hear perspectives on leadership, what inspires them, and their insights into the future. In Season 1 we had guests like International President at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Bobby Soper; AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater; and inventor and entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell, the creator of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese. We’re really looking forward to having some even more compelling guests for Season 2.

What are the main challenges that the company is currently facing due to the pandemic, while the industry, both retail and digital, are still trying to adapt in the midst of the delta variant outbreak, like for example in the US? 

While the pandemic brought on challenges regarding the health and safety of gaming customers, it also brought a rise of opportunities, specifically with the increase of Sports Betting, iGaming, digital payments, and new products in the U.S. GLI has led the way and will continue to support the needs of these new markets, products, and systems. The pandemic became a perfect catalyst for the movement toward cashless gaming as well. Resorts World Las Vegas, which opened in June, is one of the first cashless casinos in the world and many gaming suppliers turned to us for regulatory certification and testing. We worked on a variety of technologies directly with Resorts World Las Vegas, as well as with multiple suppliers. We also worked closely with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to certify gaming equipment and systems using a mix of new technologies and applications.

In this context, what are the main demands and concerns of your clients and partners, particularly regulators, as well as operators?

“How can we get involved in these emerging markets and quickly?” has been the number one question we’ve been getting from our clients, partners, operators, and regulators. We’re always keeping pace with iGaming, Sports Betting, and cashless technologies, so we can help our customers meet any challenge, from pre-compliance to market, anywhere in the world.

Could you detail GLI's current presence, expectations, and plans in the US? Could you share some examples of emerging markets, like the state of Arizona, which is in the licensing process for sports betting? Could you further share what are the company's plans in other jurisdictions worldwide?

The pandemic forced the gaming industry to make a lot of changes and our experts at GLI are always keeping up with those changes. It has been a record year for iGaming. We are also seeing Sports Betting become the gateway to full online gaming. The cancellation of sporting events in 2020 caused a rise in virtual horse racing, simulated games, and live-dealer products. We also saw significant increases in betting and viewership with esports. The gaming industry will continue to see these new markets and products for years to come. The key for regulators, operators, and players will be to embrace what they have to offer, expand, cross-sell, and innovate. If you’re an operator, supplier, regulator, or legislator that is not in the game yet, it’s time to start having conversations about iGaming and GLI can give you the information and education you need to navigate it.

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