Martin Storm, president and CEO of BMM Testlabs, has made no secret of his desire to make BMM the biggest and best independent gaming certification lab in the world.
And the past year has seen the company take some major steps towards making this goal a reality; by inking new contracts for testing and consulting services in Europe, South America, Asia and the U.S., partnering with third parties to provide new technologies and services to its clients and hiring and promoting experienced executives to better oversee the operational aspects of its business.
“2017 was a wonderful year for BMM, particularly in respect of our testing performance for clients around the world and the number of extraordinary people we have attracted to help lead the business,” Storm said.
By way of background, BMM Testlabs is one of the longest established and most experienced private gaming certification labs in the world, providing professional technical and regulatory compliance services to the gaming industry since 1981, according to its website. At its core, BMM is a systems-expert company that has consulted on and tested many of the largest gaming networks and systems over the last 37 years. In addition BMM has been successfully testing and certifying the full scope of Class III casino products for over two decades. The company also authored the first set of independent gaming standards in 1992 and the first set of online gaming standards in 2001.
BMM currently employs some 300 people in 13 global locations and 11 test labs serving over 440 jurisdictions. Its world headquarters are in Las Vegas, with offices in Mexico City (Mexico), Lima (Peru), Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), Singapore, Macau (SAR, China), Moncton (Canada), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Barcelona (Spain), Vienna (Austria), Bologna (Italy) and Midrand (South Africa).
EYE ON EUROPE
Of all these markets, Europe has proven to be particularly fertile ground for BMM, with the company providing testing for online, land-based and sports betting products and technologies in a number of European jurisdictions since 2007. Most recently, BMM secured a deal to test and certify a number of gaming sectors for the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli in Italy. The company also recently announced that it is the first independent private test lab to certify an Italian VLT game: Sisal Entertainment’s Xcalibur
“Over the last three years, BMM has been the only gaming lab in Italy to provide gaming providers with VLT platform and game pre-certification testing according to SOGEI guidelines,” said Marzia Turrini, senior vice president business development Europe and South America for BMM Testlabs. “With the Italian gaming regulator extending certification capabilities to independent test labs, BMM is extremely well placed to use its market leading experience and proven VLT testing expertise in Italy to serve all major gaming providers and concessionaires. We support the Italian government’s strong regulatory leadership and hope to see Italy continue as a thriving gaming market, with many new exciting product choices for players driving continued growth in the market.”
To help better service its European business, BMM is strengthening executive leadership in this market, recently appointing Gene Chayevsky as executive vice president of Europe and South America. Chayevsky, who has over 25 years of executive management and investment banking experience that includes a stint as chairman and CEO of gaming manufacturer Cadillac Jack, will oversee all aspects of BMM business in these marketplaces. Helping Chayevsky will be Marc Lee, who was recently promoted to the position of senior vice president of operations Europe and South America. This new role will see Lee heading BMM’s service delivery teams across both Europe and South America as well as managing BMM’s regional technical and jurisdictional compliance functions. The company has also hired Filippo Ferri as director of iGaming and new product strategy. Ferri, a 20 year veteran in the gaming test lab and supplier industries, will be based out of BMM Europe and will work closely with sales and service delivery teams to position BMM for continuous growth in the online certification business.
South America has been another bright spot for BMM over the years, with the company delivering games and systems certifications for land-based and online gaming in many countries including Peru, Argentina, Columbia, Panama and Bolivia. License wins this year include receiving accreditation to provide testing and certification services for Superintendencia De Casinos De Juego for the country of Chile.
“BMM has a long history of supporting the Chile gaming market and we have seen the casino industry grow exponentially over the last few years due to the massive growth in tourism,” Storm said. “This is a trend that we expect to continue. As the gaming industry focuses on Chile and ensuring that it is able to offer the most up-to-date products available, BMM will continue to assist both existing and new customers to leverage this development.”
The company’s position in the South American was on display when it was tabbed as the testing laboratory for WPlay.co’s online gambling platform, a live sports wagering offering seeking a Columbia license. Based on BMM’s test report and certification, COLJUEGOS, Colombia’s regulatory body, issued its first license for online sports betting operations to WPlay.co and its owner Aquila Global Group. “To date, Colombia is the only jurisdiction in South America that has approved online gambling legislation,” Turrini said. “BMM is honored to have been a driving force in this historic development.”
BMM also reported progress in Argentina, where it received authorization from Salta-based EN.RE.JA to certify and test gaming equipment and accreditation from the Games and Casino Agency do the same in the province of Mendoza.
BMM’s business is Australia, Asia and Africa continues to lead the market. It ended the year on an up note in Asia after being licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to evaluate, test and certify online gaming systems and games for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) licenses. Under this arrangement, BMM will provide compliance testing and certification services to all POGO license holders to ensure its online gaming systems, games and security process are compliant to the requirements of PAGCOR.
“With four of BMM’s 11 testing facilities located in the Asia-Pacific region (Singapore, Macau, Melbourne and Sydney), we are very well situated to support POGO license holders in obtaining their product certifications in a timely and cost effective manner,” said Kirk White, executive vice president and general manager of Australia, Asia-Pacific and South Africa for BMM.
BMM also continued to make inroads into the North American marketplace. Recently, the company collaborated with the Forest County Potawatomi Gaming Commission (FCPGC) to develop technical standards for skill-based games. FCPGC operates one of the largest casinos in the region, the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee, Wisc.
The standards were developed after a thorough review of existing standards (Nevada, New Jersey, GLI-11 v3.0) and consultation with representatives from companies involved in developing the next generation of slot machines. The standards have been formally adopted in the territory.
“These standards represent the first tribal authored standard to be published on skill-games,” said Travis Foley, executive vice president operations for BMM North America. “BMM is honored to have been able to be part of this and both parties invite any other tribe interested in the continued development of these standards to work with us.”
Meanwhile, on the North American commercial casino front, BMM was selected to test and certify electronic gaming devices and associated equipment for the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
In addition to regional expansion, BMM also worked on its service offerings over the course of the past year. In October, the company unveiled a partnership with SeNet to complement and expand existing gaming security service offerings. SeNet specializes in information security, both for tribal gaming and government entities. SeNet’s security services and product offerings are designed to help customers protect their systems, networks and data.
Services and products offered through the BMM/SeNet partnership will include: security code review and vulnerability analysis; vulnerability assessments and penetration testing; information security architecture design and implementation; secure application engineering; compliance/regulatory review; and payment card industry (PCI) compliance testing.
“We are very pleased to be able to partner with SeNet” Foley said. “SeNet is a highly-respected organization in the field of international security and we look forward to working closely with them to assist BMM’s clients to further achieve their goals.”
BMM also entered a new business segment in 2017—contracting to certify up to 50 percent of gaming products for U.S. and international markets provided by Interblock, a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of electronic table games.
“To meet the increasing demand for Interblock products and an expanding portfolio of market opportunities, we needed to bring forward new experience and skills to support that growth,” said Interblock CEO John Connelly. “BMM’s support in helping our company achieve specific timelines and objectives has made them a true partner as we expand Interblock’s business globally.”
“BMM is thrilled to be working with the Interblock team both in the U.S. and overseas,” Storm added. “We have worked hard to understand their business and products, and feel confident that we can bring new levels of expertise and care to their process of taking products to market.”
Through all this activity, BMM also managed to remain active on the gaming industry event front, exhibiting and offering its expertise to G2E, FADJA 2017, G2E Asia, Juegos Miami, the inaugural Japan Gaming Congress and, of course, the upcoming ICE Totally Gaming show in London, where they will be in stand N3-420. The company also hosted a regulatory “Road Trip” symposium for tribal regulators and operators this past August at Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in California.
Despite the success of the past year, one thing is certain: BMM will not be resting on its laurels. Indeed, the company has a number of exciting initiatives planned for 2018, according to Storm.
“2017 was the breakthrough year for BMM in the U.S., and 2018 will be the breakthrough year for us in Europe and South America,” Storm said. “It’s not enough for BMM to be the best gaming lab in the world, I want us to be the biggest too, and that achievement is approaching faster than ever.”