The Gaming Standards Association (GSA) announced Monday that it had officially launched its new Blockchain Committee. The committee will be chaired by casino management systems authority, Earle G. Hall, CEO of AxesNetwork who was recently elected to the post.
Plans to form the committee were announced by GSA and GSA Europe during part of the association’s 20th-anniversary celebrations at ICE Totally Gaming in early February. The GSA plans to create standards for the use of blockchain technology to further their mission as an international trade association that brings benefits into being for gaming operators, suppliers, manufacturers, and regulators.
The committee has had its charter approved and the first meeting will be held in London on April 10. GSA Platinum member, Playtech (PTEC.L) is hosting the inaugural meeting of the committee. Playtech was founded in 1999 and provides games like Adventures in Wonderland to online casinos such as 777.com. The company had revenues of €807.1 million in 2017. Additional GSA Platinum members include Aristocrat Technologies Inc.; International Game Technology (IGT); Konami Gaming Inc.; Microgaming Software Systems, LTD.; NOVOMATIC Gaming Industries GmbH, & Scientific Games International (SGMS).
In a Monday press release, GSA President Peter DeRaedt spoke of the importance of blockchain technology to the industry when he said: “We are very excited to evolve this committee into a significantly beneficial asset to our prestigious membership. The blockchain technology is poised to change our industry forever. We are very thankful to have someone with the vision, in-depth knowledge and exceptional drive that Earle brings to GSA. He will lead us into this new realm of technology that will affect every aspect of our evolution.”
One of the online gaming standards the association has under research and development is the Online Services Interface (OSI). The standard, when fully developed and implemented, will give operators a single method for establishing connectivity between payment processors, geo-location services, and data analytics systems with internet gaming platforms (iGPs).
Blockchain Committee Chair Earle G. Hall said in Monday’s release: “Blockchain is the answer to so many of our inefficiencies. It is inherently designed for transparent, secure and distributed information flow. Blockchain will exponentially increase the potential for collaboration, efficiency and connectivity. I am very grateful to the membership for their vote of confidence with respect to my nomination. I am excited to pool together all the talent I can to serve our members in this need to embrace this revolution.”
Far from being restricted to a semi-anonymous decentralized money ledger such as Bitcoin, other blockchain technologies will offer heretofore unseen levels of transparency in data sharing and security, leaving much of the guesswork out of regulators’ jobs.
The newly formed committee will advise GSA and GSA Europe on where standards can be developed for the ever more important technologies. Some of the first areas the team will look at include authentication methodologies, reference architecture, compatibility with external interfaces and central monitoring systems.
Standards developed and adopted by the GSA have been an engine for innovation and growth in the industry for two full decades. The standards are developed through collaborative efforts of volunteers. Since inception, the GSA has established nine committees which created 15 standards. More than 1,500 people from nearly 200 companies have volunteered since the first Gaming Manufacturers Association cabinet was selected in 1997.