GLI's Senior Technology Advisor on Standards, Security, and Tech Evolution
In a recent interview with Mike Robbins, Senior Gaming Technology Advisor at GLI (Gaming Laboratories International), Gaming Eminence explored the transformative technologies and trends shaping the gaming industry and their impact on regulatory processes and compliance standards. Mike discussed his pivotal role in collaborating with government regulators globally, navigating the evolving regulatory landscape. We delved into GLI's significant contributions in developing industry standards, emphasising their role in ensuring fairness, integrity, and security within the gaming sector. The conversation extended to addressing concerns about cybersecurity, with Mike offering valuable advice for executives and technical professionals on safeguarding operations in the digital realm.
GE) In your extensive career you've witnessed significant technological advancements in the gambling industry. Could you share your perspective on the most transformative technologies and trends that have shaped the industry, and how they've influenced regulatory processes and compliance standards?
MR) To me, the biggest advancements in the industry since I started at GLI mainly involve the proliferation of the internet and mobile technology and its influence within the gaming industry. With those technologies come different risks than those seen on a casino floor. But within those risks are opportunities to support a gaming environment, which one could argue is more secure in some respects than its brick-and-mortar counterparts.
For instance, regulated online gaming requires player accounts, age and identity verification, and traceability of all gaming and financial transactions related to that account. To this connection, topics like Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, and Responsible Gaming are easier to implement.
GE) Your role involves working closely with government regulators across the globe. Could you elaborate on the challenges and opportunities you've encountered when bridging the gap between evolving gaming technologies and the regulatory landscape? How do you see this relationship evolving in the near future?
MR) One of the primary challenges is the rapid pace of technological innovation in the gaming industry. New technologies and trends are constantly emerging, and regulators must keep up with them. Sometimes, the laws as written can be limiting as they often represent a snapshot in time.
In our advisory work, my team and I work closely with regulators to find the best way to develop gaming requirements within these frameworks through the adoption of regulations, policies, minimum internal control standards, and technical standards. Each jurisdiction will have its own nuances whose purpose is to ensure the policy objectives of that jurisdiction are met. We work with regulators to strike a balance to ensure they meet their policy objectives and align with industry best practices where possible.
GE) GLI has played a pivotal role in developing industry standards, such as the GLI-19 Standards for Interactive Gaming Systems and the GLI-33 Standards for Event Wagering Systems. Can you discuss the significance of these standards and their impact on ensuring fairness, integrity, and security in the gaming industry?
MR) The GLI Standards Series, including GLI-19 and GLI-33, are intended to be global technical standards representing the best in the industry. This is illustrated by countless jurisdictions around the world adopting GLI-19 and/or GLI-33 by reference or basing their own technical standards on them.
Most recently, we’ve seen Peru come out with technical standards that are highly inspired by GLI-19 and GLI-33. We’ve also observed this in many North American and Caribbean jurisdictions adopting GLI-19 and GLI-33 and using their own regulations to support the implementation of said standards.
The two standards, in particular, focus not only on the technological aspect of the systems, platforms, and games but also add in suggested internal controls and security framework for this ever-evolving industry. These standards provide for an efficient technical development and testing process to allow for a speedy time to market.
GE) With the increasing integration of digital technologies in gaming, cybersecurity has become a pressing concern. How do you view the evolving threats and security measures within the industry, and what advice would you offer to executives and technical professionals to safeguard their operations?
MR) I think it is more vital now than ever to ensure a secure gaming environment, both within your private gaming network and outside of it. As for what advice to offer executives and technical professionals, I recommend adopting and enforcing a security framework. Periodic network vulnerability and penetration testing of gaming infrastructures is also key, not to mention ensuring the latest and greatest software is installed.
Trust between the player and the operator is one of the most important factors in the success of our industry. The integrity of gaming is paramount, and the security and confidentiality of customer data must be protected. The requirements that currently exist in regulated markets provide a good foundation already. However, what is needed is a movement beyond the required baseline initiatives of periodic audits and security testing. Security must be a focus of the executive management team and buy-in and support are needed at this level, or there is no possibility of success. We must remember that there will never be an organization or platform that is 100% secure. Still, it is about making informed risk-based decisions that ultimately lead to a stronger overall security posture.
GE) What strategies do you employ to stay abreast of emerging technologies and industry trends, and how do you see the role of Senior Gaming Technology Advisor evolving in response to these changes?
MR) Personally, I use my role to understand gaming technologies and trends on a global scale through visiting and participating in international gaming shows, witnessing new technologies, and communicating with suppliers, operators, and regulatory bodies. I also believe working in my role with various gaming markets around the world will help lead to further synergies related to the regulation of gaming and gaming technologies where possible.
About our Contributor
Mike Robbins is an experienced Senior Gaming Technology Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the gaming industry. Starting his career with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) in 2008, Mike has developed a broad range of experience and has become a reliable resource in various technologies and regulations, including Sports/Event Wagering, Mobile and Interactive Gaming, eSports, and Casino Gaming throughout the global gaming industry. Visit https://gaminglabs.com/ Please note that the GLI Standards are freely available for download at gaminglabs.com.