Salim L. Adatia, VP of North American Client Services

GLI: "Our goal for G2E is to help attendees move forward with the highest level of technical and regulatory integrity"

Salim L. Adatia, VP of North American Client Services.
2022-09-23
Reading time 8:18 min

Gaming laboratories International (GLI) will be attending the upcoming edition of G2E Las Vegas, which will be held October 11-13 at the Venetian Expo. In conversation with Yogonet, the company's Vice President of North American Client Services, Salim L. Adatia, shared the company's expectations and plans for the event. 

In addition to naming the wide variety of products and services the company will be showcasing at the event, Adatia also shares details of the challenges faced in the US to meet compliance requirements in new markets. Furthermore, he describes the firm's plans for G2E, offers insights into the company's presence in South Africa, and talks about recent appointments.


GLI's stand at ICE London this year

What will be the main novelties that GLI will present and focus on at G2E this year? Will you be presenting any new services, solutions, or products?

Gaming Laboratories International provides the gaming industry’s leading testing and certification services. It’s what we are known for. However, we’re so much more than that - with an unsurpassed range of services and tools for suppliers, operators, and regulators. As the gaming industry continues to expand, as more jurisdictions legalize sports betting and iGaming, and as technology becomes increasingly complex, companies are seeking ways to be more competitive and cost-efficient, and we have a wide array of services to help companies of all sizes.

This year we are especially excited to showcase services to meet the needs of our customers where we are seeing an uptick in demand, such as our Ongoing Regulatory Advisory Services. Beyond that, we’ll be offering unparalleled insights into iGaming and iLottery; sports betting and event wagering; pre-certification testing; rule-writing and technical standards development; responsible gaming auditing; historical horse racing (HHR); gaming training and educational services; and cybersecurity audits and professional services. What separates GLI, and what our clients rely on us for, is our unsurpassed global insights coupled with our local subject matter expertise.

What are the company’s key goals and expectations for the event? How will you capitalize on the presence of the different stakeholders attending such an important event?

Our key goal for G2E 2022 is to help attendees navigate their way forward in gaming successfully, with the highest level of technical and regulatory integrity. Regardless of whether you’re a supplier, operator, regulator, or other third-party vendors, we have the subject matter experts for you to speak with. We will capitalize on in-person walk-throughs of our exclusive suite of integrated compliance, testing, and regulatory advisory support services.

GLI has recently announced several appointments and promotions, including Angela Wong as Vice President of Global Lottery Solutions, Patrick Cottingham as Client Services Manager for the supplier-focused team, and former horse racing regulators' executive Steve May for its Client Services and Solutions teams. What added value and possibly new capabilities will this new leadership bring for GLI in the coming months? How will this be reflected in Las Vegas and eventually the target markets for this event?

We are very proud to have announced these strong appointments and promotions! We appreciate this question very much because it, in and of itself, helps to emphasize how important it is to us at GLI to have a complete cross-section of service specialists on staff.

Angela, Patrick, and Steve each have numerous years of experience in their various disciplines which immediately translates to value and success for our customers. After all, GLI's core purpose is to be the trusted global compliance & quality expert relied upon by our clients - delivering world-class customer service and value that is unmatched.

Angela’s knowledge and experience in the lottery sector, Patrick’s accumulated experience with gaming suppliers and manufacturers, and Steve’s tremendous knowledge in all things pari-mutuel and historical horse racing (HHR), meaning they can leverage their vast knowledge base and strong relationships within the industry to benefit suppliers, operators, and regulators directly.

G2E is a perfect opportunity to connect or reconnect with each of them at the show. They are keen to talk about what’s evolving and what can be done together with attendees.

US regulated sports betting is seeing increased compliance demand from new markets like Massachusetts, Kansas, Ohio, and all eyes are now on what could happen with California’s ballot proposals. What’s GLI’s approach to meet this expanded US market in those particular jurisdictions? What are the key challenges there?

Indeed – and how exciting is that! These markets, and many others that are evolving, all provide wonderful opportunities for great entertainment offerings. Our approach is to make sure that every interested party has the necessary intelligence they need to make sound educated decisions in their strategy for success. This includes provincial, state, lottery, and/or tribal stakeholders, etc. One of the biggest challenges for an emerging jurisdiction is just knowing where to start. Choosing the right partner to propel you forward is more important now than ever.

GLI’s global technical compliance team has the forward-thinking insights industry stakeholders need and deserve, to help accelerate them from where they are today, to where they dream to be tomorrow. Suppliers, operators, and regulators have come to trust and rely on our team of technical compliance specialists for insights into the future that are grounded in facts and data. This is why I am proud and confident to say that if you are part of an evolving jurisdiction, you can take comfort knowing that our technical compliance team will hand-hold to provide: rule writing and technical standards development; new technology liaison service experts; and regulatory field support and advisory services.

Another key challenge for emerging markets is to determine what standard to put in place to ensure fairness, security, and auditability of gaming offerings in their jurisdiction. To help lead the way, GLI continues to offer best practice technical standard templates with our GLI Standard Series, specifically GLI-19: Interactive Gaming System for iGaming, and GLI-33: Event Wagering Systems for sports and event wagering.

The purpose of these technical standards is to eliminate subjective criteria in analyzing and certifying iGaming and Event Wagering Systems. These standards are available to the industry to adopt in whole or in part, or leverage as part of the process of developing a jurisdiction’s own technical standard.

We encourage evolving jurisdictions to take a close look at these helpful documents as great efforts were made by GLI to construct a standard that can be easily revised, and allow for new technology, while at the same time not specifying any particular designs, methods, or algorithms. The intent is to allow a wide range of methods to be used to conform to the standards, while at the same time encouraging new methods to be developed.

 

GLI staff at ICE London this year

G2E organizers said the event will reflect the “impressive growth of new gaming verticals and technology.” Educational activities will feature what’s next in iGaming, digital payments and cryptocurrency, and Web3. From your perspective as a leading laboratory, which are the new challenges stemming from those areas, and how are you working in that sense?

The list of new gaming verticals, and the overlap of new and existing technologies in each, continue to grow faster than ever. Advancements in iGaming, sports betting, digital payments, geolocation, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, augmented reality (AR), the metaverse, Web3 - the list can go on and on. Regardless of what the topic is, the challenge stemming from these areas is similar. How does one sift through the maze of idiosyncrasies across regulated markets and technical standards to determine the applicability of requirements? Well, I am happy to answer that unraveling layers of complexity around new technical advances is something that GLI can seamlessly navigate.

In some cases, with new gaming concepts, there may be friction experienced when new technology doesn’t fit nicely into traditional gaming categories or standards. Instead of industry stakeholders trying to figure out those varied requirements on their own, GLI’s regulatory advisory services and pre-compliance testing are specifically designed to detect and address functional and compliance-related issues early in the product development lifecycle. This early identification saves suppliers and operators valuable time and money that can be applied to other areas of their business growth. 

You recently participated in iGB Live held in Amsterdam. How did the company perform during the event? What is your perspective, and what is your development strategy for the European markets?

GLI always enjoys being at iGB Live, and this year it felt like things were getting back to pre-pandemic levels of exhibitors and visitors, which was great to see. The team had a busy few days talking to current and prospective clients, providing them with the very latest information to support their plans to explore new possibilities and territories. The world of iGaming is exciting because it’s so very dynamic, and GLI is fortunate to have staff all over the world, so we can help our clients with global insights on market trends and potential opportunities to help them succeed.

Europe, in relative terms, we would consider has more mature markets for iGaming and sports betting, with, in fact, the Netherlands becoming one of the more recent jurisdictions to regulate iGaming. Due to the nature of software-based solutions, we see more of our clients thinking globally rather than in specific geographical markets.

As the regulated markets in North America and Latin America continue to evolve quickly, this is important because GLI is accepted in all regulated gaming markets where independent labs are utilized. It makes a 'submit once – apply to many' type of approach available when leveraging GLI. Other laboratories cannot necessarily offer this, meaning customers must submit to various labs for various markets around the globe. This is not as efficient from a time, cost, or market deployment perspective as utilizing one strong lab.

Therefore, we are so fortunate at GLI to be able to service clients on a global basis from their local GLI teams removing any barriers of market requirements, language, time zones, you name it. Building on new and existing relationships with our expertise to further help our customers expand their business growth is central to our philosophy.

In June this year, GLI Africa announced it had reached a landmark milestone with 100 employees. What does this achievement represent for the company? What would you say are the main challenges for the region?

GLI was the first gaming test lab to set up in South Africa with just a handful of employees in 1996. Since then, we have never let up on investing in our South African operation and employees. Reaching this important milestone is a real success story for us.

In the last 12 months alone, GLI Africa has hired over 60 employees to strengthen our bench and keep up with customer demand for testing, certification, and regulatory advisory services. The expanding team also meant we had the opportunity to expand our physical office space in Johannesburg. We will continue full speed to invest in our experts and the environment from which they deliver services.

In terms of challenges for the region, there has been a huge rise in sports betting over recent years, with every country we visit in Africa having hundreds of small betting retail shops. However, due to Covid, many land-based betting and gambling venues have either closed or are experiencing a lower footfall, with punters now preferring online gaming. For GLI, that means working with many iGaming and sports betting suppliers as they look to enter the African market and helping them through the complexities of regulation in the different jurisdictions.

Fortunately, GLI has become the trusted advisor to many regulators across Africa as they seek to enhance regulation in their respective jurisdictions. Many have looked to GLI for training and educational services, the drafting or amendment of technical standards, and field audits.

Moreover, suppliers and operators also look to GLI for advice on the various jurisdictions within Africa and other markets they are interested in targeting simultaneously. Our in-depth knowledge of the markets and regulations makes GLI their first point of contact when looking to expand into the African and global markets.

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