James Illingworth Director of Business Development for GLI Europe, official sponsor and supporter of EEGS
Please, give us a short description of GLI and the services you provide?
GLI delivers the best quality land-based and iGaming testing, certification and consulting services with supreme accuracy, while also reducing time to market. With 850 employees in 21 locations on six continents, GLI has more capacity than any other lab. Beyond testing, GLI offers a wide range of professional, field and lottery services. GLI is the only global organization of its kind to hold U.S. and international accreditations for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery industries.
Your company is a world leader in the industry. What is the key to success?
For more than 25 years, our focus has been on one thing: the customer. Our job is to anticipate their needs, and provide the best possible advice, consultation, testing and other services. At GLI, we have five core values, and they all really boil down to providing each and every customer with world-class service, regardless of their size. We also have developed a toolbox of exclusive tools for operators, regulators and suppliers that make doing business easier, faster and less expensive. That’s just another example of the way we anticipate our clients’ needs.
Based on your experience, can you make some predictions for the development of the gaming industry worldwide in the next five years?
As a test lab, we deal in facts and hard data. Call it an occupational hazard. So we don’t make predictions. What we can say, however, is based on the new technologies we are seeing come into the lab, the next five years will be very exciting, both in the land-based and iGaming sectors. We can also say that the trend of convergence will continue, and that is something regulators, operators and suppliers should prepare for now.
You deal both with regulators and operators. In the past, the relationships between them at many market were often marked by tensions. What are your impressions now, considering that you have constant contacts with them.
At GLI we consider ourselves as the “hub,” bringing together the supplier, operator, regulator and end customer to ensure the products submitted meet the requirements for each jurisdiction. Our relationship with all parties has been built on trust, value of service and knowing the details of each operation.GLI is proud of our ability to meet the needs of the supplier and the regulator to ensure smooth and timely product rollout.
You work with many Eastern European operators and regulators. What are your expectations for the development of the gaming industry in the Eastern European market?
We are active in all legally regulated jurisdictions worldwide. Eastern Europe still has markets yet to adopt international standards and regulations. We see opportunity in the coming years to assist these markets in adopting GLI standards and assisting international suppliers a smoother passage in entering these emerging markets. We have well placed persons representing our clients’ concerns, as well as our own, in these emerging markets, and we track developments closely and provide vital input to the regulatory bodies in these jurisdictions.
What can you tell us about the compliance and testing here in Bulgaria, one year after the adoption of the new gambling law and regulation of the online market?
We have already tested for operators that have a license in Bulgaria and have built a strong relationship with the Gaming Board. We have local counsel available to assist us when the need arises. Our compliance and engineering teams have full knowledge of the regulations and technical aspects of the new gaming law and are always available to assist our clients.
With gaming technology developing at a fast pace, how GLI manages to be always up to date with the latest technological innovations in slot machines and casino systems?
Our job is to be up-to-date and even ahead of new technologies before they come into the lab. We are in a fortunate position with our supplier clients, where we have earned their trust so that they bring us in very early on in their R&D phase so that we get a 30,000 foot view of the new technologies they are pursuing. We also have teams of engineers whose job it is to track new and emerging technologies in industries outside of gaming as well. This gives us insights into a more global technological story that we can then share with our regulator, supplier and operator clients so that they, too, can stay ahead of the curve.
Online games are a great opportunity for the gaming industry. How GLI helps online operators to certify the reliability of their systems and games?
GLI has been testing and certifying legal online games and systems for more than 20 years. In fact, we were the first company to test and certify for legal jurisdictions around the world, from Canada to the Philippines to the UK and several points in between. We have the industry’s leading engineers and quality assurance staff who oversee testing and certification of iGaming systems, and we also have an iGaming standard to help suppliers in their R&D processes as well as operators and regulators in their operational and oversight processes. This is a rapidly growing part of the global gaming industry, and it is important for all parties involved, including the end consumer, that the security and integrity of iGaming is kept at its highest levels, and our testing and certification procedures play a key role.
What are the latest developments related to the new regulation of the testing facilities?
GLI voluntarily submits for ISO testing and other accreditations, such as A2LA. We are proud to say GLI is the only global organization of its kind to hold U.S. and international accreditations for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery industries, and that we have achieved A2LA accreditation.