GSA unveils new membership optionsThe Gaming Standards Association has created a new class of membership designed to allow companies to demonstrate support for GSA and adopt industry standards without being restricted by GSA's patent policy.
The new membership category will facilitate the GSA Board of Directors' goal for the gaming industry to benefit from the widespread adoption of GSA standards, said GSA Board Chairman Gregg Solomon of Mandalay Resort Group.
"The main benefit is that manufacturers and operators can become [members] of GSA and show their support of GSA's work to bring protocol standards to the gaming industry without being bound to the intellectual property disclosure policies of the association," he said.
The need for the new membership tier became apparent after GSA implemented an intellectual property disclosure policy last year. Some members opted out of the association because of the policy requirement.
"We are at the crossroads of implementing BOB [GSA's best-of-breed protocol], which is probably the most important standard that GSA has undertaken. In order for GSA to be successful, our overriding mission is to implement standards as widely as possible," Solomon said.
To do that, the association developed a way to bring former members back to the association and allow those companies to participate in the implementation of BOB and other standards while remaining fair to existing members who have agreed to the IP disclosure policy.
"This is a key moment in the gaming industry," said Peter DeRaedt, GSA president.
With strong support from its members, GSA has spent six years working on standards that will be critical to the future success and development of the industry, he said.
"Our new standards will open up tremendous opportunities and pave the way for unlimited creativity and industry expansion," DeRaedt said.
GSA members paying annual dues will get a free license to practice the standards. "GSA will be releasing these to our members this year, making membership in GSA more vital than ever," he said.
Platinum, gold and silver level memberships are available within the new "Supporting Membership" category, and carry annual fees that are roughly double those the traditional membership levels carry.
Being granted a free license for a specific GSA standard depends upon the supporting membership class. The supporting member will only be granted access to the released GSA standards and will not be able to participate in committee meetings or board meetings.
GSA's traditional membership levels of platinum, gold and silver will continue and offers the benefits of lower annual dues and the opportunity to directly influence GSA's continuing mission to facilitate the identification, definition, development, promotion, and implementation of open standards.