International edition
June 17, 2019

Interview with GLI's Karen Sierra-Hughes

"GLI sees a bright future for the Latin American lottery industry"

"Our priority at this year’s WLS Buenos Aires conference was to present GLI’s extensive capabilities for lotteries," Karen Sierra-Hughes assured.
Argentina | 12/03/2018

Within the framework of this year's edition of World Lottery Summit held in Buenos Aires, GLI's Director for LatAm and the Caribbean granted an exclusive interview to Yogonet. Karen Sierra-Hughes shared his views on the trade show as well as Latin America's current lottery industry.

W

hy have you decided to showcase at WLS Buenos Aires, and what does it mean for you as a company?

The World Lottery Summit is one of the most important and prestigious global events focusing on the rapidly evolving lottery industry. GLI is a strong supporter of the lottery industry and the fact that it was based in Buenos Aires allowed for many more Latin American lotteries to attend, making this event even more diverse than years before. As the leading provider of consultancy, testing, auditing, and certification services for the global lottery industry, this event provided an opportunity for our experienced North American, European, LatAm and Caribbean team of lottery experts to meet with attendees and demonstrate how GLI’s unmatched portfolio of tested, proven, and trusted land-based, sports betting, iGaming, and lottery services can help them achieve success.

What did you seek to show and highlight at your booth? What criteria and priorities did you apply in order to plan your expo there?

Our priority at this year’s WLS Buenos Aires conference was to present GLI’s extensive capabilities for lotteries. One fact that some Yogonet readers might not know is GLI works in more than 65 lottery jurisdictions worldwide, and because of that we are privileged to serve more lottery operators, regulators, and suppliers than any other lab. During WLS we had many conversations with attendees about our capabilities, and one topic that came up again and again was cybersecurity, particularly as it relates to audit and certification. Because the internet is such an important part of lottery operations, cybersecurity is mission critical, and attendees were very interested in our extensive capabilities in cybersecurity, along with are other lottery capabilities, such as

  • Policy, regulatory and technical requirements consultancy
  • WLA Security Controls Standard Consulting & Certification
  • Electronic Lottery Systems Testing
  • Electronic and Paper Instant Ticket Testing
  • WLA Responsible Gaming Consultation & Auditing
  • Online and Land-based Sports Betting Certification

Moreover, GLI’s team of locally focused experts were on hand at GLI’s booth during WLS Buenos Aires to help regulators, suppliers, and operators assure compliance with accepted regulatory and jurisdictional technical standards and best practices.

What were the main topics visitors were most interested in, and what could you learn from your experience there?

There continues to be a keen interest in the expansion of online lottery, as well as the growth of sports wagering globally, and Latin America and the Caribbean are making great strides to establish the right conditions to include them in the operations of their jurisdictions. We learned from our interaction with attendees who visited GLI’s booth at the show that they are seeking to take advantage of GLI’s decades of global experience and knowledge of iLottery and sports wagering to help them successfully navigate these complex jurisdictional waters both in Argentina and throughout the world.

Indeed, our conversations with attendees underscored the fact that many jurisdictions throughout South America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, are in the process of implementing sports and event-wagering regulations to help ensure the integrity of the game. As with iGaming, the growth of sports wagering also presents its own unique set of challenges. Because sports wagering is highly transactional, high frequency, and very complex, it demands its own unique and comprehensive regulatory approach.

GLI recently released its new GLI-33 Event Wagering Systems technical standard which has already become a global benchmark for regulators, suppliers, and operators. GLI-33 provides a common standard for certification and compliance so that sports wagering devices and systems can be created, tested against, and deployed within widely accepted parameters. GLI-33 gives regulators a solid and vetted foundation on which to build their own unique regulatory structure. Operators and suppliers in Argentina, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, will also benefit by using this new standard as guidance for development while getting ready to submit to multiple jurisdictions throughout Latin American and around the world. This standard is also available for free download at https://www.gaminglabs.com/gli-standards.

How could you describe your current presence and relationships with lotteries in Argentina, and what is your perspective and expectations for the future? How do you foresee upcoming online regulations in the country, for instance, regarding sports betting in Buenos Aires province?

GLI are strong supporters of the industry in Argentina and our commitment is reflected in our local presence with our GLI South America laboratory based in La Plata. We are accredited and recognized in every jurisdiction in the country that requires certification and have been working closely with lotteries that are looking to improve their process and understand global best practices that can be adopted to their needs. Regarding the development of upcoming online gaming regulations in Buenos Aires province, it is important to note that they are pending the approval of a law that will allow for its regulation. The local regulator introduced audit and technical compliance processes to the land-based industry and was one of the pioneers in the country. Based on this, with their strong compliance tradition and the conditions established in the project of the law in discussion, we expect that this jurisdiction will continue its path to guarantee the integrity operations and continue to look at global regulatory models to shape their regulatory framework.GLI’s goal is to be available to support the regulator and the suppliers to ensure that the accuracy of odds and the settlement of wagers is fair and secure, regardless of platform or delivery channel.

Could you identify any new trends or demands from operators and regulators? How would you approach them and tailor your services and products to Argentinian market?

As we alluded to earlier, cybersecurity was a trend-setting topic during the WLS Buenos Aires show, demonstrating that it is of increasing concern for operators and regulators in Argentina, as well as throughout the region. The reason? No one is immune to data breaches and cybersecurity attacks. Both land-based and online lottery, iGaming, and sports wagering operations in Argentina and throughout Latin American and the Caribbean are at increasing risk of a cyber attack as cybercriminals are continually finding new ways to penetrate seemingly secure systems. Performing regular network risk assessments are an important first step in an overall cybersecurity strategy designed to prevent cybersecurity breaches due to lax security protocols and oversight. GLI’s Professional Services Division can provide Latin American and Caribbean lottery, iGaming, and sports wagering organizations with a variety of customized solutions to mitigate cybersecurity risk.
There is also an imminent need to eradicate illegal online gaming and sports betting and regulation is the first step to achieve these goals. Our policy and regulatory consultancy services are an important tool for Argentinean regulators in this area.

Specially for Argentinean suppliers and operators, our GLI South America lab based in La Plata, Argentina, which recently celebrated the 10th anniversary, brings a unique combination of local focus and a global perspective, and it’s been providing both land-based and online lottery, gaming, and sports betting operators in Argentina independent laboratory testing to ensure compliance with appropriate jurisdictional and technical standards. GLI’s team of locally focused global lottery and gaming experts in Buenos Aires offer customized testing, assessment, certification, professional consultancy solutions, and products tailored to the unique needs of the Argentinian gaming and lottery markets.

GLI’s goal is to assist operators, regulators, and suppliers in Argentina and throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region to ensure the integrity of the game; which is so vital to the progress and prosperity of the region’s dynamic and growing gaming and lottery industries. That is why GLI intentionally developed its well-known Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtables to be an important forum for the exchange of ideas, the promotion of dialogue, and the pursuit of meaningful professional relationships between regulators and representatives of government lotteries throughout the Latin American and Caribbean sector.

The most recent 11th Annual Latin American Regulators Roundtable was held on August 7 & 8 in Lima, Peru. This year’s record-setting Roundtable welcomed more than 80 representatives from 33 government entities and 19 countries and featured 28 speakers representing some of the most respected and brightest names in the Latin American and Caribbean gaming and lottery industries. GLI strongly believes that by providing such educational events fostering collaboration, cooperation, and unity of purpose for regulators throughout the region, GLI can work together with industry stakeholders to solve some of the many challenges facing this growing market by sharing its wealth of global knowledge and experience in land-based, iGaming, sports wagering, and lottery best practices.

Ultimately, GLI sees a bright future for the Argentinian and Latin American/Caribbean lottery industry. GLI is proud and thankful to have been an integral part of the positive change and development that this dynamic sector has experienced in the last 18 plus years.

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