aking into account what you could perceive, what has been the industry’s performance during 2010?
From a developmental perspective, 2010 was a year of tremendous technological progress. Whether that happened in spite of or because of the economic downturn remains to be seen; however, the fact is that suppliers embraced new technologies and GSA standards in the knowledge that our standards enable more innovation, in turn driving incremental shareholder value. As witnessed during the G2E Las Vegas tradeshow, the results are a host of amazing new products and features never before possible.
What are the main problems that are affecting your business? Which are their potential solutions?
We are fortunate that suppliers and regulators have resoundingly embraced GSA standards. Suppliers are creating great new products based on the standards and regulators in jurisdictions around the world are calling for them in their RFPs. The focus is now turning to operators to ready their floors for the new devices and systems. Implementation will be as individual as the properties themselves. Some will choose to go machine by machine, others bank by bank.
We need to raise the bar by ensuring consistent implementation of the GSA standards, and this will be achieved through GSA’s product certification program. GSA certification is the process by which operators can be assured that a gaming vendor’s product complies with a specific set of requirements. It is the foundation that establishes operator confidence that interoperability between products can be achieved. In 2011, GSA will facilitate consensus among the industry and its own member companies to ensure that there is agreement on the expectations for GSA certification.
In your opinion, what is the most important change at the legislative and regulatory level that took place this year in Latin America and the US as well?
More than one specific piece of legislation or change in regulation was a trend, and that trend was an embracing of GSA standards by regulators in record proportion. For example, in the U.S., regulators in Illinois, Maryland and Oregon issued recommendations regarding GSA standards in their RFPs, as did regulators across Canada. Other U.S. states are poised to follow, and regulators in Europe are paying very close attention.
How did slots and electronic machine fleet evolve in the US?
GSA members made tremendous strides in R&D in 2010, and their efforts were on full display at G2E. The evolution of new technologies, particularly in networked gaming, are very exciting, and we can expect operators to rely on this new generation of products to help attract and retain players.
As can be witnessed at multiple operators, the Player User Interface (PUI) is now available on the latest games in addition to game download and remote configuration. The latest casino that opened on Las Vegas Boulevard is a prime example of standards at work and how innovation will drive the customer experience.
What do you expect for 2011?
To begin with, GSA’s Board of Directors has outlined a path for development and advancement that includes wider adoption of GSA standards. We will continue to collaborate with other industry associations in standards development, and regulators can continue to rely on GSA for valuable information concerning GSA certification. We will also continue to increase operator involvement and to encourage GSA standards adoption by operators.
We will be focusing on certification of the existing standards, and gaining agreement on the right level of expectation for the industry – operators, suppliers and regulators. In addition GSA will finalize the core standards document to provide firm footing for development by manufacturers, allowing the industry to innovate through the standards extension process we have in place. GSA will always be the place for the industry to join forces and drive innovation.