Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) is set to share its vast experience in gaming testing and consulting services with visitors at SAGSE Latin America @Buenos Aires this week. Karen Marcela Sierra-Hughes, GLI Director, Latin America and Caribbean Government Relations and Business Development, shares her vision of the Latin American gaming market, expecting new challenges for the company as they anticipate an expansion of online gaming in the region next year.
Innovate Gaming: What services and solutions are GLI showcasing at SAGSE 2017?
Karen Sierra-Hughes: As Innovate Gaming readers may know, GLI has been a supporter of SAGSE and of the gaming industry in Latin America and the Caribbean for decades, and above everything else, our clients across the region rely on GLI for our expertise. Like technology, our areas of expertise continue to grow and become even stronger each year, and at SAGSE, we will be talking about new areas of importance to regulators, operators, and suppliers, specifically: Land-based and online certification for gaming, lottery, sports and wagering events Onsite field inspections and training, and GLI University training, to help ensure regulators are up-to-date on new technologies and their potential regulatory impact.
As a company, our expertise is built on on-the-ground knowledge in 475 jurisdictions worldwide, and we are confident our clients in Latin America and the Caribbean will continue to benefit from our insights and services. We have worked with suppliers and operators for many years, and we look forward to seeing them expand into new jurisdictions and develop new opportunities in the region.
IG: GLI has continuously shown big support not just for Argentina, but also for Latin America. Could you describe the company’s progress made in the region during the last twelve months?
KS: Since the last edition of SAGSE, GLI has had a very strong year in Latin America and the Caribbean. We have been working closely with regulators in every country, and now as we move into 2018, we are looking forward to continuing to assist regulators by lending our expertise into areas such as policy development, with online gaming testing and consultation, and with training in our GLI University program and Regulator Roundtables (which will be held in Lima, Peru, in 2018). Additionally, we specialize in online gaming, and we have been very fortunate to work with suppliers in the industry to expand our expertise in this area. In 2018, we anticipate the expansion of online gaming in the Latin American region, the further development of online gaming regulation and the implementation of these types of games.
IG: What is your vision regarding the possibility of Brazil opening its regulated gaming market?
KS: There may be a tendency to get a bit impatient with Brazil – many companies are very excited about the possibility of gaming in the country, and would like to see it open today. However, we can take comfort and assurance in the fact that Brazil is moving forward at a steady, deliberate, and contemplative place. That will be better for all stakeholders in the long run. The good news is regulators in Brazil have a wealth of experience to draw on from their Latin American neighbors, who over the years and in recent history have made great strides in regulation.
IG: After almost two years since changes in terms of importation were applied by the government, how friendly is now the environment for making business in Argentina?
We have been complimentary to the government of Argentina, because their strong and pro-active efforts have helped to shine a spotlight on business potential in the country. Today the market seems to be reaping the benefit of those efforts and from regulators who have worked hard to provide a clear pathway for entry for new suppliers. This combination of actions seems to be attracting several suppliers who are interested in entering the market, making this an exciting time for gaming in Argentina.
IG: Following these changes, how is the Argentinean market currently positioned for GLI compared to other countries in Latin America?
KS: GLI has many good opportunities in Argentina and across Latin America. As we have said before, the Latin American and Caribbean gaming industry is well-positioned because of the hard work being done by the region’s group of experienced regulators. Beyond Argentina, GLI has opportunity with casinos throughout Chile with public bids for municipal casinos in 2018; or in Uruguay where regulators are paving the way for online gaming; or in Paraguay where regulators are looking for ways to streamline licensing with online gaming with land-based gaming. Given all of this, SAGSE should be a very good show for GLI and for the industry as a whole.
Gaming Laboratories International, LLC delivers the highest quality land-based, lottery and iGaming testing and assessment services. GLI’s laboratory locations are found on six continents, and the company holds U.S. and international accreditations for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery industries. GLI also holds ISTBQ certification.