28 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 PGRI INTERVIEWS Paul Jason: GLI has always expanded in a conservative way, ensuring that they are always best at whatever service they rendered for clients. How are GLI’s capabilities being leveraged to help its clients prepare for a future that is not only uncertain, but rushing at us in warp- speed? Ian Hughes: The GLI culture, engendered from the very beginning by co-founder and CEO James Maida, has always been about the science and delivering superlative service to our clients and excellence at everything we do. That is much more important than expansion and financial growth. To that end, we always want to make sure that the addition of new business units complements and augments, and does not distract from, our current services and operations. GLI’s original business focused on testing and ensuring that equipment and technology performed as intended, and as specifica- tions claimed it does and as regulators and contracts require them to. Over the years, though, the range of technical and security issues surrounding the operation of electron- ic gaming machines and the IT platforms that support the whole gaming ecosystem have expanded. The need to integrate best- in-class solutions from multiple service and hardware suppliers increased the complexity of the challenge to future-proof the business. Operators want to invest in the technology that will support their operations into the future, that ensure security and reliability and meet the needs of their customers. And as prudent shepherds of limited resources, everyone wants to maximize ROI. They need to understand how the life-cycles of technology are evolving. Where will advancements come from; what areas of the IT infrastructure are less likely to be replaced by new inventions and technologi- cal innovation? Conversely, what areas are poised for change that will render the current technologies obsolete before their ROI time-lines have reached maturity? How do we manage the whole investment process to meet short-term needs and also be flexible to evolve with the times? These are the issues that preoccupy us at GLI. There are no easy answers to these questions. GLI has built its business and its reputa- tion on the foundational principle that it is about merging the needs of the real-world market-place with the science. We have from the beginning been immersed in the business of understanding in granular detail how the technology of games and gaming IT platforms work. Our clients asked us to leverage this special vantage to provide a comprehensive range of consultative support services and so that is what we have done. The core of our philosophy is that every service we provide be a core-competency. Each product, capability, and service is integrated into the GLI portfolio with the same attention to excellence as testing and forensic auditing was more than thirty years ago. We must all work together to preserve the integrity and security of this industry, and modernize its IT infrastructure for the next generation of players. The healthy long-term sustainability of the gaming industry depends on it. How have the technical issues and the requests for guidance from changed over the last nine months? PGRI Introduction: 2021 is shaping up to be a landmark year for regulatory and policy changes impacting the gaming industry. States budgets are stretched, and funding for good causes is needed more than ever. State lottery operators have performed well in this time of crisis, fulfilling their obligations to generate funds to support good causes that serve society. Lotteries have the tools, the trusted brand, the highest standards for Responsible Gaming, the distribution network, and the operational infrastructure and expertise along with the real-world experience to be the operator of choice as policy- makers assess the different pathways to regulate games-of- chance. And consumers continue to want safety, convenience, and more ways to engage. Since 1989, GLI has been the industry’s trusted advisor in all forms of gaming technology, including iLottery, iGaming, and sports betting. GLI assists regulators, manufacturers, suppliers, and operators to successfully navigate the exciting world of land-based and online gaming and all its spaces – iGaming, sports betting, iLottery, Esports, proxy gaming, live dealer gaming, social gaming, casino gaming, and more. How has (or hasn’t) the pandemic changed the future of recreational gaming? Ian Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, GLI (Gaming Laboratories International)