“These are both challenging and exciting times for Latin America and the Caribbean”
(Miami, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Georges Didier, Latin America Government Relations and Business Development Representative, GLI; spoke exclusively with SoloAzar in the framework of the lastest edition of Juegos Miami. “As one of these premier gaming conferences for the Latin American and Caribbean sector, Juegos Miami attracts key representatives, decision-makers, and stakeholders from across the region,” he said.
How was the participation of the Company in Juegos Miami?
GLI’s team of experienced Latin American and global gaming experts were on hand at our booth to provide attendees with valuable insights about how GLI’s world-class testing, certification, assessment, and professional services can help them achieve their goals and objectives. Attending on GLI’s behalf were Ian Hughes, GLI’s vice president of global services; Georges Didier, GLI’s Latin America government relations and business development representative; and Karen Sierra-Hughes, GLI’s director of Latin America and Caribbean government relations and business development.
We were delighted that Karen Sierra-Hughes was presented with a Recognition Award at the Latin American Gaming Hall of Fame. This was an especially meaningful award because the winners were selected by a vote of their Latin American gaming industry peers, as well as judges from Clarion Gaming, the producers of Juegos Miami.
Sierra-Hughes also moderated the panel: “Regional Update: Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia” at the conference, which was a successful panel.
From its beginning, GLI always had a very active participation in Juegos Miami. What is the importance of being here?
GLI actively participates in all major conferences regarding the gaming and lottery industries worldwide. As one of these premier gaming conferences for the Latin American and Caribbean sector, Juegos Miami attracts key representatives, decision-makers, and stakeholders from across the region. This gathering of suppliers, operators, and regulators provides GLI with a unique opportunity to present its extensive portfolio of tested, proven, and trusted testing, certification, and professional services for both land-based and iGaming operations to attendees.
As the gaming landscape across Latin America and the Caribbean continues to grow, evolve, and become more complex, it becomes increasingly important for regulators, operators, and suppliers to understand how GLI’s local focus and global capabilities can help them to succeed. It is important for industry stakeholders to understand the many changes that are happening in the areas of new technologies, legislation, and regulation. Therefore, the Juegos Miami show affords an excellent opportunity for GLI’s subject-matter experts to engage in meaningful conversations with show attendees; demonstrating how we can assist them in a variety of mission-critical areas, including online and land-based gaming and lottery and sports wagering, security audits, legislation, and technical standards consultancy. Our goal is to help support our clients’ objectives by providing insightful thought-leadership.
Whether land-based, iGaming, sports betting or lottery, GLI offers 30 years of leadership to help pave the way toward success with transparent and honest testing and certification services, combined with global market expertise and knowledge that only GLI can provide.
How did you see this edition of the show?
We were certainly pleased with the many opportunities to interact with a broad spectrum of executives allowing us to have many high-level quality conversations with key industry stakeholders. This was especially true regarding the heightened interest among attendees regarding the explosion of iGaming and sports wagering across the region. Attendees visiting our booth were eager to learn about GLI’s decades of iGaming and sports wagering experience and how we can help them maximize their success in this exciting and often challenging arena. GLI is a global leader in iGaming and recognized sports wagering testing lab, as evidenced by our GLI-19 Interactive Gaming Systems and GLI-33 Event Wagering Systems technical standards, which are available for free download at gaminglabs.com/gli-standards.
The conference also afforded the opportunity to focus on the unique challenges facing specific countries and jurisdictions with dedicated roundtable discussions for such key markets as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and others. These roundtables opened a lively dialogue and exchange of ideas between attendees and regulators; creating a deeper understanding of the many common issues facing the region and how the industry works together to solve these problems in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding.
What general vision can you give us about the current situation of the Latin American market?
These are both challenging and exciting times for Latin America and the Caribbean. The gaming industry is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. New technologies are being developed that have a direct impact on the ability of players to engage in wagering that was unheard of just a few years ago.
Certainly, one of the most significant drivers of change across the sector is the continuing advance of iGaming; particularly as it pertains to sports wagering and the nascent arrival of eSports, which is continuing to gain in popularity. Today’s technology allows players to engage in gaming and sports wagering activities whenever and wherever they want on their mobile devices. However, the proliferation of online gaming activities presents a host of unique regulatory challenges. Unlike traditional land-based gaming establishments, online gaming is susceptible to a variety of issues, including the threat of cybersecurity attacks, the potential for illegal money laundering, and the problem of thwarting underage gambling.
We have been working closely with regulators across the region to assist them with developing robust iGaming regulations to ensure the integrity of gaming, thus assuring the public that the games they play are fair and equitable. Moreover, strong iGaming regulations can help to prevent fraud, protect against cyberattacks, and help to protect investments and power profitability.
Colombia continues to demonstrate leadership in effectively regulating online gaming operations. This is especially true as it regards the innovative ways Colombia is addressing the development of new gaming technology; most notably with “JUEGOLAB,” which is a unique program developed by Colombia’s regulatory body, COLJUEGOS, that fosters cooperation between operators, suppliers, and other parties to share ideas and proposals for new games. We were indeed proud to have played a role in the development of this unique process.
For Peru, we are also working closely with the General Director of the DGJCMT, Peru’s regulatory body, as they continue to move forward with strong regulatory standards and legislation governing the vibrant Peruvian land-based gaming industry. They are working now to regulate iGaming and we are always supporting them. We are sure that once they release the regulatory framework and regulation of iGaming, it will be implemented successfully, providing the necessary safeguards and oversight to ensure the integrity of Peru’s iGaming activities.
Brazil continues to be the “sleeping giant” when it comes to the potential for legalized sports wagering. We are ready to assist legislators and regulators and share with them our decades of sports wagering regulatory, testing, and certification experience.
Argentina continues to make great strides toward developing a modern, comprehensive, and reasoned approach to regulating online gaming. While Argentina’s regulatory landscape is dominated by individual, provincial jurisdiction, GLI has worked closely with each one of the regulatory bodies of the country to assist them in developing robust regulatory standards. This is especially true as it pertains to the Province of Buenos Aires, whose Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLYC) is in the process of granting seven licenses for iGaming operations.
LOTBA (Lottery of Buenos Aires City) is the next jurisdiction in Argentina that will regulate iGaming activity. It’s important to mention that the Lottery of Buenos Aires City will regulate the operation in a different manner than the Province of Buenos Aires. For example, there’s no limit on the licenses that they plan to approve for this jurisdiction.
What are the biggest challenges for companies in the gaming sector in Latin America, especially in relation to legislation and regulation?
It is important that companies looking to succeed in the Latin American and Caribbean gaming sector have an international perspective. The success of both land-based and online gaming operations is not just a local issue but must be seen from a larger, global perspective. As the gaming public throughout the region becomes more sophisticated, they are demanding that the gaming products, services, and activities they enjoy are of the highest caliber. Therefore, it is incumbent on companies to work to improve the products and services they offer daily. Moreover, these products and services should be customized for each country and gaming market. With the continuing growth of gaming and the demand for quality gaming products and services, there is ample opportunity for new companies to enter the market and be successful in catering their products and services to larger operators.
From a regulatory perspective, it is important that regulators and operators stay abreast of new technologies and the impact these new technologies will have on the industry. That’s why they need to listen to stakeholders, understand their needs and, based on this, always update and improve their regulations. They also must be prepared for the regulation of these new technologies, and that is why GLI is at the forefront of educating regulators through its renowned Latin American Regulators Roundtables. These events, fully exclusive for regulators, are held annually and afford an opportunity for regulators and state lotteries to experience two days of inspiring keynotes, stimulating panel discussions, and collaborative networking activities designed to foster cooperation, communication, and mutual understanding.