We live in what has been aptly termed ‘the digital era,’ where digital and mobile payments are setting a new standard as consumers become increasingly familiar with such technologies. This, too, is the case for the gambling industry in specific, in which the adoption of these solutions is also gaining a larger footprint worldwide. To promote a culture of safety around online payments in the sector, the International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA) announced the creation of a Payment Standards Committee earlier this month.
In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Peter DeRaedt, President of IGSA, shared the reasons for the creation of the committee, the issues it aims to address, the criteria that should be set for standards, and the future goals of the association.
What prompted the decision to create the Payment Standards Committee, and what specific challenges does the committee aim to address? How will the collaboration between companies and regulators be coordinated?
The mission of the IGSA is to serve its members by creating a bridge between regulators and operators with world-class standards. Our duty is to ensure that our members can evolve in an environment of trust and confidence with their clients and regulatory bodies.
Electronic, digital, and mobile payments are rapidly emerging as the new standard in payments, much like TiTo (Ticket-in, ticket-out) did many years ago. To ensure our members can guide regulators and operators to make intelligent, informed, and safe choices, we have created the payment standards committee.
For a standards committee to be created, a member organization must propose a committee charter, and at least three member organizations must ratify and join the committee.
With respect to the payment standards committee, AXES.ai proposed the committee charter, and the companies comprising the board of directors of IGSA joined the committee immediately. This has created a strong signal in the organization that payment standards are a hot topic.
Furthermore, we have several new members joining to specifically be part of the payments movement to build standards to assist regulators in how they evolve their policies and regulations.
What criteria should be used to determine which payment solutions meet the standards? And how will the committee ensure the guidance it develops is secure and reliable?
IGSA is not responsible for enforcing standards. That is and always will be the responsibility of the respective regulatory body in their jurisdiction. With the committee now created, it is up to the committee to craft an agenda and set criteria for the standard. We are excited to see so many payment companies inquire about joining IGSA to lend their expertise to ensure any criteria included in the standard are the broadest reaching and comprehensive as possible.
Once the committee has created an itemized list of topics and a draft standard, it is up to them to seek guidance from leading regulatory bodies to ensure that IGSA and selected regulators are aligned with the needs of the jurisdictions. The final step of the standard process is to take the standard to the members for approval. In addition to being available to our member companies, it will also be made available to the regulatory community.
How pressing are payments as a topic to the gaming industry at the time? What impact do you anticipate the new payment standards having on the gambling sector?
Payment standards are an emergency. Right now, there is no clear, global standard to protect regulators and operators from fraudulent or criminal organizations offering questionable technology and processes to operators. The industry looks to IGSA to guide them, and the goal of this standard is to ensure that companies adhere to standards, policies, and procedures.
The impact of this standard will be revolutionary. Electronic, digital, and mobile payments are accelerating rapidly. Without standards, we can expect criminal organizations to infiltrate this mission-critical part of the gaming experience. We have learned in the past that without a standard that anarchy can quickly become the norm. This standard will create a baseline to ensure our regulators and our operators are shielded from this massive risk.
Aristocrat Gaming, AXES.ai, Oregon Lottery, and Playtech have been announced as the first members of the committee. What do these organizations bring to the payment conversation? Are other companies and regulators expected to join in the near future?
These board member companies agreed to create the committee. They all have a payment or cashless component to their product offering. Furthermore, they all clearly see the imminent risk of wide-scale payment technology without standards. I am proud to share the leadership of the organization with them and support their focus on this important task for our Industry.
We are proud to say that several companies are in the process of joining IGSA to ensure that the payment standard is world-class. We hope to make several announcements in the coming weeks of a wave of new members that want to ensure our Industry evolves to this new way of gaming in a safe and efficient manner.