hat are your expectations of ICE?
BMM will be represented from across the globe at this year's ICE show, with staff attending from the recently opened Bologna, Italy office and BMM's Spain and Austria locations. They will be joined by the South Africa, Australia and the US teams. These experienced BMM staff will be available to all ICE attendees throughout the three-day event to offer advice and assistance on compliance, certification requirements and testing for both land-based and iGaming.
In your opinion, which European countries have the most advanced and mature regulatory frameworks?
The online gambling industry has witnessed a dramatic change in the legal landscape in the last two to three years. Italy is still a legal reference point for other jurisdictions but England, France, and Spain have reviewed existing rules and have extended and/or created new legislation to apply to the online environment. Greece's technical regulations recently submitted to the EU Commission are a good example of legislation that finally caught up with technology.
The land-based regulatory framework has been quite stable during the past few years and Video lotteries (VLTs) are likely to be considered the biggest change in the industry.
And what about Latin-America?
Of the regulated countries in Latin America, Peru has been a natural leader in gaming regulation, followed by other countries, like Panama, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia and now Chile, who launched their technical standards late in 2013. These standards enforced by the Chilean Government are the most complete in the region at present.
Peru and Panama have the most mature framework, as these countries have not only established a set of technical rules, but also a procedure for licensing manufacturers and registration of their products. This is imperative in ensuring a controlled and protected environment.
How do you see US advances on online gaming?
With the fractured approach by some sovereign states & governments progress is slow right now, making the ROI in the individual markets less appealing than that of a country of the US’s size and stature. 2014 will likely show more states on board with iGaming, but it’s not likely till 2015/16 that we will see real growth in this sector. So although it is slower than the industry may choose, there is still significant upside coming.
What countries have a higher growth potential in online gaming?
For the near term, we expect that certain countries in Europe, like Spain, will have the most immediate growth for the companies operating there. Asia is becoming more & more successful as iGaming is becoming more prevalent there. South America has the potential to be be a huge market. But for the long-term, we see the US still being one of the largest online gaming markets, as jurisdictional changes continue to reflect this.
You have recently opened global headquarters in Las Vegas; how’s that working out?
BMM announced our move to new state-of-the-art global headquarters in late 2012 and we are already set to expand our testlab facility in Las Vegas. As the economy continues to improve, here at BMM, we are seeing significant expansion, as demand for our highly qualified staff and services continue to grow.
What can you tell us about BMM as an ALEA affiliate member? How does the company plan to participate?
BMM is honored to be accepted into ALEA as an affiliate member. We are very much looking forward to participating in and attending ALEA events. We also look forward to further participation with CIBELAE and WLA through the organization.
What do you feel next year holds for the industry?
Increased competition and standardization in the independent testing laboratory sector will make a marked improvement in the gaming industry, with benefits for all stakeholders. At BMM we believe that creating efficiencies and lowering costs while maintaining the highest levels of integrity and accountability is key. For 2014 BMM Testlabs will continue to be at the forefront, offering advice to all regulatory agencies, manufacturers, and operators.