When the IT guy comes into the office and starts talking in alphabet soup, how long does it take the average casino manager to revert back to junior high school - information coming very fast, largely going over head and a glaze of misunderstanding creeping across the eyes? Be honest. Minutes? Seconds?

You got the e-mail thing down, you can surf the net to find sports scores, but you really just think the World Wide Web is the playground for the pocket-protected, right?

The truth is, for all the tech talk, your IT guy really is acting in your best interest, and really is trying to communicate something important. In fact, the future viability and competitive bottom line of your business may very well depend on your learning to decipher the alphabet soup of his string of consciousness about GSA, G2S, GTS, S2S and IT. Hey, you learned G2E - the rest of this couldn’t be all that hard.


Help is on the way

And now it isn’t, thanks to a new series of courses offered by the Gaming Standards Association (that’s GSA to your IT guy). One acronym down.

GSA recently partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV - hey, that’s two now!) to develop a series of courses specifically geared toward busy managers who must oversee the future of their organizations, including ensuring the operation is preparing for the near future of gaming, which will be more technologically complex and interesting than the casino floor of today.

Even the techno-babble staff at GSA realizes that the emerging technologies in the gaming industry can be complex and overwhelming. And they are also extremely exciting. The fact of the matter is that we are living through one of the most exciting periods in human history, and, walking the tradeshow floors at the Global Gaming Expo and International Casino Exposition, we have seen firsthand how manufacturers across the globe are embracing new and emerging technologies and applying them to the gaming industry in new and exciting ways.

The reality is, every casino’s current database of players is aging, and today’s players will have to be replaced eventually by the next generation. Look at it this way: today’s 16 year olds will be your players in just five years. Just two years in some jurisdictions. And what are these gamers like? What are their interests? Will they be satisfied with standard reel spinners? Or will they be a more demanding, more sophisticated consumer?

The answer is obvious, and GSA has carefully designed the new GSA Executive Awareness Program to help today’s executives and managers understand new technologies in a very broad sense so they can listen with confidence to their IT guy’s recommendations.

The program consists of four easy-to-understand, non-technical courses for busy executives and managers designed to quickly give them a better working knowledge of the industry’s new protocol standards and their implications.

The four, one-day classes focus on the needs of executives and managers who work for casino properties, manufacturers, regulators and even independent test labs. Now, before your eyes glaze over again, don’t panic - each class is presented in non-technical, easily understood language.

It all starts with the basics. The first course, titled “An Executive Briefing on GSA Protocols,” gives attendees a “big picture” understanding of all GSA protocols: what they do, how they work and why they are poised to revolutionize casino operations. This is where you first learn the alphabet that will guide the future - G2S, GTS and S2S.

Next, “An Executive Overview of G2S,” helps attendees focus on the revolutionary and award-winning Game-to-System (G2S) protocol and its incredible potentials. Simply put, if server-based gaming is the engine that will drive the future of the industry, then G2S is the key to the engine. Now you understand why understanding G2S in a very broad sense is important.

Third in the series is “An Executive Overview of S2S.” S2S means system-to-system, and this class presents the S2S protocol standard and its implications for improving back-office operations and accuracy - in other words, this protocol actually makes your job easier.

The series wraps up with “An Executive Overview of Transport & Security.” This class will help you understand GSA’s Transport and Security protocol and how it enables G2S & S2S to revolutionize casino operations. In other words, this is the highway the engine will be driven on.

The future isn’t as scary or as confusing a staccato delivery of alphabet talk can make it seem sometimes. However, the future is undoubtedly complex, and it is imperative for today’s managers to have a grasp on the outlook for the casino of tomorrow. This series will help you accomplish that goal.

Registration is available now. Contact Pat.Merl@unlv.edu or visit http://www.igi.unlv.edu/gsa.htm to register and additional information. And don’t be afraid - we won’t even make you wear a pocket protector or anything. At least not in the first class.