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Manufacturers to discuss
key industry standards

Apr 8, 2003 7:32 AM

The newest technology designed to facilitate the implementation of computers into the casino will be reviewed and discussed at the Gaming Standards Association’s (GSA) Annual Meeting next week at Mandalay Bay.

The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday (April 15) afternoon, coincides with the association’s five-year anniversary.

The scheduled keynote speaker will be Tom Baker, president and chief executive officer of International Game Technology (IGT). Baker will discuss, "The Future of Gaming and the Role of Standards."

The ability to create standards for gaming manufacturers is at the core of the GSA, which is made up of 44 companies, including manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators.

Earlier this year, the GSA announced that it was developing a "groundbreaking" casino standard called BOB ”” a Best of Breed system that would standardize the computer devices and software that interface between the casino floor and casino accounting.

"This type of open, shared standard would have been unthinkable five years ago," said Peter DeRaedt, president of the GSA. "BOB will finally bring to the casino floor an open standard of communication between the gaming floor and the back-of-the-house systems."

To produce a protocol such as BOB, DeRaedt added, requires the cooperation and collaboration of casino operators, suppliers and manufacturers.

"The significance of the partnership is illustrated" by the diversity of the companies working on developing the protocol, DeRaedt said, adding that a partial list of cooperating firms include IGT, Bally Gaming, Aristocrat, Shuffle Master, Acres and WMS Gaming.

"These companies are putting their money where their mouth is through their contributions of financial and technical resources," said Gregg Solomon, chairman of GSA and senior vice president of Mandalay Resort Group. "This isn’t just lip service."

Solomon said that the development of the BOB protocol system should be completed by the end of 2003, when a list of core specifications can be listed.

At this year’s meeting, the GSA will also welcome into the organization its first-ever tribal gaming operators, Foxwoods Resort and Casino and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Business Development Authority.

"Tribal casinos tend to be open to new technologies, thus their insight and input is greatly desired for the standards currently being developed by GSA and its members," DeRaedt said. "They understand the challenges in integrating gaming and non-gaming equipment and systems, and how standards can alleviate many of these challenges."