GLI Regulators Roundtable Packs Them In

A full house greeted speakers at GLI’s Regulators Roundtable last week in Las Vegas. Dedicated to educating new and veteran regulators on the challenges and opportunities of the gaming industry, the Roundtable featured many panels on technology, including (l. to r.) GLI Marketing VP Christie Eickleman moderating a panel with SBTech US President Melissa Riahei and Scientific Games VP Mili Dalmia.

GLI Regulators Roundtable Packs Them In

GLI’s Regulators Roundtable 2020, the 20th edition of the respected forum for educating regulators, was held last week in Las Vegas, and proved once again to be a success.

Led off by GLI President & CEO James Maida, the roundtable is dedicated to highlighting technology and issues that regulators will undoubtedly have to contend with in the near future.

“We have labs strategically placed all over the world, and suppliers of all sizes bring their latest technologies to our labs at all phases of the R&D process. Because of that, we see the future as it is unfolding. With the Roundtable, we bring that prescient knowledge to regulators – guiding, educating, and working side-by-side to bring that future to fruition, providing insights from world-leading experts to help illuminate the path forward,” said Maida.

The event kicked off with an address by futurist Gabe Zichermann, which ironically focused on failure. Zichermann noted that those who don’t fail on an almost regular basis don’t learn from their success. He said business should value failure because it’s through failure that they find the path forward.

Other sessions focused on sports betting, innovation, artificial intelligence, data collection, security and surveillance, tribal gaming and illegal gaming.

The Innovation Room, a recent development at the Regulators Roundtable, featured new technology from Scientific Games, GameCo, Next Gaming, Synergy Blue, Marker Trax and the UNLV Center for Gaming Innovation.

But the most popular session brings together Maida and Chad Cornett, GLI’s director of technical compliance. The two experts outlined the top eight gaming innovations, which encompass issues that regulators are facing today, and possible ways to consider regulating them.

  1. Casino Floor Liquidity—With new technology and changing gaming preferences from customers, the casino floor will change over the next decade. Some of the permutations will include augmented reality table games, where a basic felt surface can be transformed into any gaming using projections and back lighting.

An emphasis on multi-utilization of space on the casino floor will be another trend, with vast open space of underutilized sports books being able to be used for different events and activities. In the sports books themselves, bettors can stream games they actually bet on, or slot players can play slots while watching a sporting event on a split screen.

  1. Biometrics—Casinos will begin to use biometrics for a variety of things from security to player experience. Facial recognition will not only be able to identify cheaters and self excluded individuals, but also recognize players who might not have signed up for a players card and reward them in the same way that signees would receive.
  2. Surveillance—This department will change markedly over the next decade with enhanced high-resolution cameras, which will be able to used biometrics to show different angles on activities, recognized threats, eliminate false positives and even operate at a remote location nowhere near the casino floor.
  3. Video Game Convergence—Even though the trend to combining video games with slot machines hasn’t been an immediate success, those efforts will continue in order to attract the generation that today seems to have little interest in gaming. All kinds of players will be segmented and targeted from the casual player to the grinder.

Esports will continue to be a focus since it’s such a popular activity among the millennial generation, often filling arenas simply to watch the games. Cheating is still an issue but will be addressed as more data becomes available and more technology is put into play.

  1. Off-the-Shelf Devices—The use of iPhones, android phones and tablets will continue to expand, with the interaction between casino games and phones more engrained. The days of paper tickets are numbered since “virtual” TITO will become an established preference.

Games utilizing VR headsets will be developed, but standardization of the headsets will become necessary so that one player doesn’t have an advantage over another because of technology. Regulatory controls will also need to be developed.

  1. Digital Payments—Already a mainstay of ecommerce and preferred by users, digital payments will be developed for the casino floor., PayPal and Apple Pay are already in use for online gaming, and that technology will soon migrate to the land-based casino. The use of digital wallets will increase, and regulatory comfort with the products will also increase due to the better AML and KYC tracking of the customers.

Crypto currency is further down the road, but still on its way. Regulators will have to be aware of bitcoin and its offshoots as it gets more popular in general transactions.

  1. Sports Betting Progression—Even though sports betting is a narrow-margin business, it will get more profitable as people understand how to bet, particularly live betting while the gaming is going on. The data provided to give odds on in-game betting will become more important if casinos want to get more profitable with sports betting.

And data already indicates that first-time sports bettors are quick to migrate to online casino betting in states where both are accepted. As sports betting grows, so will online casino betting.

  1. Migration to the Cloud—Most companies now use the Cloud to store data, but the casino industry has lagged behind due to regulatory concerns that data leaves the casino property. There will be more of a push to use data centers off site and storage capacity on casino properties becomes outdated.

Regulators will be made comfortable with off-site storage by demonstrating that the security surrounding such a strategy will be protected. And it’s not unthinkable that data could be moved constantly to locations where there is storage space, and similar data security.

Articles by Author: Roger Gros

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry’s leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows.
Roger Gros is the author of the best-selling book, "How to Win at Casino Gambling" (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named “Businessman of the Year” for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012 as part of the annual AGA Communications Awards.