hat is GSA’s role in the global gaming industry?
The Gaming Standards Association, or GSA, is a global organization formed of suppliers, operators, test labs and other interested companies, and our members work towards one goal: to make the gaming industry better. The way we do that is by developing standardized protocols that are the driving force behind the next generation of devices and systems. You see, it used to be that each supplier would develop games and systems on proprietary protocols, and then operators would spend hundreds of man hours and millions of dollars each year to try to get the different “languages” to talk to each other on the casino floor. Operators finally said, “Enough!” and GSA was formed to develop common “languages” for devices and systems.
How do manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators benefit from what GSA does?
GSA protocols were deliberately designed using commonly accepted computer industry standards whenever possible so that everyone had a common starting point. GSA’s standards benefit operators by saving hundreds of man-hours and millions of dollars because the protocols are common to all devices and systems, so individual patches or translations at the property level are not necessary. They provide a common language across jurisdictions. Now operators have a wider choice of vendors, better tools to help increase the bottom line and can achieve simple equipment integration through “Plug and Play” implementation. Standards also bring quicker integration, easier device and system maintenance, reduced service costs and increased operating time, less down time.
GSA standards benefit suppliers because now they can focus on creating more exciting game content and beneficial systems, and not focusing on creating proprietary languages. This results in reduced development costs, a faster approval cycle and reduced cost to integrate systems.
Standards also benefit regulators because, by providing common features between suppliers, testing and certification is simplified. Standards also bring built-in compliance with increased security, simple compliance verification for approval and auditing, and devices and systems based on standards require fewer resources to verify compliance. Standards also allow for cross-training of regulatory engineers, and because protocols are standard, not unique in language, it is easier to train field regulators on one protocol and easier to regulate the systems activities.
What does a company have to do to be a GSA member?
GSA membership is open to operators, suppliers and any company that provides goods and/or services to operators, manufacturers or vendors related to the gaming industry. There are several levels of membership, each with its own suite of benefits. Interested companies can start by visiting www.gamingstandards.com to get an overview and can contact any of our staff who would meet with them and help them decide which level of membership would be most beneficial. For some reason, many people think that GSA is for suppliers only, but that is not the case, and we strongly encourage operators to join so that they have a clear voice in the operators advisory committee in the dialog that is shaping the future of gaming for decades to come.
What are the benefits of GSA membership?
Benefits come in tiered levels of membership. Platinum member benefits include a seat on the association's Board of Directors, if open. Platinum members may hold Chairman positions on committees, and may have multiple representatives involved in committee meetings. This level membership also includes enhanced web site presence, press release recognition in association correspondence and signage at all association functions. Gold members are eligible for a seat on GSA’s Board of Directors by election, if available. Gold members may hold Chairman positions on committees, and may have two representatives involved in committee meetings. This level membership includes web site presence, press release recognition in association correspondence and signage at all association functions. Silver members do not have voting rights and are not eligible for Board seats. Silver members may allow one representative to be involved in committee meetings designated open for non-voting members. This level membership includes web site presence and press release recognition in association correspondence. But GSA membership offers valuable industry connection through close networking with both the executives of all our members companies as well as the engineering staff. It is invaluable to be part of this group of highly knowledgeable industry representatives and further build the essential relationships and collect the knowledge needed to continue to drive your business.
What will be GSA’s main objectives for the coming months?
Our main focus will be to drive interoperability in our industry by ensuring that the new products are GSA compliant and/or GSA certified. As we continue to develop standards and push for their implementation by suppliers and operators around the world, we will also educate the industry on the importance of standards. Our GSA University program will stage training sessions around the world, and we are excited to announce that we have recently signed a memo of understanding with Educativa Del Peru S.A.C. to bring GSA University Courses to Latin America for the first time. In addition, we will present standards education at industry events. For example, GSA will be presenting three days’ worth of critically important seminars at the upcoming Gaming Technology Summit. The event takes place May 24-26 at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, and will gather industry professionals to discuss real-world technology challenges and solutions.