The impact pending online gaming legalization would have on the U.S. regulatory community was a topic very much on the minds of many of the attendees at the 11th annual Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) University Roundtable, held last month at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The two-day event drew 365 regulators from 32 states, four Canadian provinces and two Caribbean jurisdictions. American Gaming Association (AGA) president and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. gave the first day’s keynote address, in which he updated the audience on the latest finding of the AGA’s Regulatory Reform Task Force before launching into his take on recent online gaming events. Fahrenkopf reiterated the AGA’s support of online poker, so long as it is federally legalized and regulated.
“There are now 2,000 offshore poker sites accepting bets from 10 to 15 million Americans each day,” Fahrenkopf said. “Most of these sites don’t provide consumer protection or care about issues such as underage and responsible gaming. Creating legislation that legally brings this industry onshore allows it to be policed and regulated, in addition to providing tax revenue and jobs.”
James Maida, GLI president and CEO, acknowledged the growing importance of Internet wagering in the U.S. and throughout the world. To help prepare GLI customers for the upcoming regulatory onslaught, the company recently purchased TST, a global leader in Internet gaming systems testing. TST will be rebranded and incorporated into GLI as GLI Interactive. The company is also in the process of hiring 100 new engineers and support staff.
“The Internet is everywhere and everybody wants in on it,” Maida said. “And we are way ahead of the curve of helping our clients meet their goals in this area.”
Maida and Patrick Moore, director of compliance for GLI, also held a discussion on 10 gaming technology trends to watch for in 2012 and beyond. Making their list was Cloud computing, persistence gaming and the threats of bots and collusion in the online wagering realm.
In addition to the keynotes, there were a series of panel discussions that touched on topics such as the latest tools of the trade that help regulators avoid common security pitfalls; how regulators and operators can share common ground; the complex challenge of implementing a multi-jurisdictional strategy for internet-based lottery, bingo, sports betting and casino-style gaming; the legal challenges gray-area games have caused; and how regulators might make the most of the Cloud.
“The feedback we received from regulators was extremely positive,” Maida said. “We appreciated how many regulators from jurisdictions far and near told us that this event and the knowledge they gain here is a critical part of their business.”