SEG 10 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2018 - 07:38hs.
Karen Sierra-Hughes, GLI Director, LatAm and Caribbean Government Relations

"Gaming regulation will be positive not only for Brazil but for the entire region"

(Exclusive GMB) - Participating for the 14th time in SAGSE, GLI demonstrates once again its support to the industry in Argentina and the whole region, where Karen Sierra-Hughes, director for LatAm and the Caribbean, highlights that important advances have been made in this 2017. At the same time, she highlights the situation in Brazil: 'The potential is immense, although it will be the decision of the regulator to define the size of the market.'

GMB - Once again GLI is participating in SAGSE. With what expectations do you arrive this year?
Karen Sierra-Hughes - With a lot, as always. We have been coming here for 14 years reflecting our loyalty and commitment to the Argentine gaming industry, in good times and in bad times. Always accompanying not only the regulators, who are our customers, but also the local suppliers and the international ones that participate in this great event.

How do you see the show this year?
For us it is very positive, since it gives us the possibility of making direct contact with our clients, especially to me that I’m not all the time in Latin America. It is important to talk with them, listen to their comments, know how the market is. I have heard many positive comments from the Argentine industry, which is growing little by little with better conditions for everyone.

How do you see the Latin American gambling market in the global context?
It is super important. The manufacturers and suppliers that work with GLI, which are mostly European, are looking to Latin America and dedicating efforts to enter this market. The effort that Latin American regulators are making to generate regulations and provide more transparency to the industry is important. This work is undoubtedly bearing fruit and generating opportunities for all.

How is GLI positioned in that context?
Our role in the industry is very broad. We work not only for the casino gambling industry, but also for lotteries, bingos, online betting, etc., with a wide range of services where we not only deal with certification and audit issues, but also perform consulting work and collaborate with regulators in the development of gaming laws. That has been an important focus that we have developed in recent years. We have worked in several countries in this field and we see that there will surely be opportunities for the entire industry.

Getting closer to the end of the year, if you had to say which is the country that advanced the most in this area, what would you say?
A lot has happened in 2017. We could say that Colombia made a lot of progress with the online sector, but I do not want to focus only on online, which is important, but to think about the additional regulations that the regulator has created to introduce new types of game.
We also have Paraguay, which has advanced its casino bidding processes while establishing control processes that are important. It also advanced in the regulation of operation of rooms in the municipalities, and in relation to issues of certifications as well. And Argentina also took similar steps forward, in different provinces, which gives greater transparency for the entire sector.

And how do you see Brazilian regulatory process, which seems closer than ever now?
We always try to be optimistic, and any movement towards the legalization of gaming seems positive to us. If finalized, it would be absolutely positive not only for the country, but for the entire region. We are talking about an industry that will generate many opportunities, including local game developers, machines and other areas. I think we're all going to benefit if it comes through.

Even with the market closed, has GLI received inquiries from local companies in Brazil?
It happens that there are companies that are originally from Brazil and that, when the market closed, they had to leave the country and enter other markets in order to continue teir business. So, we do have Brazilian clients that have advanced in certification processes because they are in other markets. And outside of that, we have companies that are trying to understand the process in orde to get ready. Seeing these types of concerns and communication is also positive because it shows that the industry understands that, if the activity is regulated, it will be important to establish the technical criteria to maintain transparency.

What potential do you think the Brazilian market has?
It's potential is immense. It will be the decision of the regulator to define the size of the market. It is a decision that must be made by analyzing the market and seeing if there is enough to be of that demand.

GLI was present at one of the road shows about the privatization of Lotex. What can you tell us about that?
Yes, we participated because we wanted to better understand what was happening, how is the process since we understand that it will be very important for Brazil and, as I said before, because any conversation that is taking place to legalize some kind of gaming is important for us and we support it. That's why we’ve been there, to know what the situation of Lotex was like and to be prepared in the future if they need our services.

How do you see 2018 for the gaming sector?
I think it will be an interesting year. In Latin America there are several countries with elections, which sometimes slows down processes and progress. But on the other hand, in jurisdictions that have already made progress in regulation, we will see the fruits of the work that was done for both operators and suppliers. And I guess we have to consider the challenges that political changes can bring.

Source: GMB