“GLI will have a strong presence from its EMEA and wider global team at ICE London”

As the industry prepares for the first big meeting of the year at the 2023 ICE London showcase, Yogonet caught up with James Illingworth, GLI’s Vice President of Sales in the EMEA region, on the company’s approach to the latest edition of the expo, to be held at ExCel London on February 7-9. Additionally, during the interview, Illingworth also shares insights on the company’s plans for the year ahead.

What will the business focus on at the event? 

At ICE 2023, GLI will continue to showcase its Integrated Compliance Solutions, offering a full-service approach from the earliest quality assurance tests and user acceptance testing straight through to final compliance certification.

Whether someone is an established operator, supplier, or an up-and-coming enterprise, GLI can help them understand what support is out there and provide them with the tools they need to comply with their regulatory and technical obligations.

GLI offers tailored support in all areas of compliance. From business case entry to certification. We can provide everything from workshops, presentations, training, R&D, advice on AML and responsible gambling obligations, and pre-compliance assessments of existing products under development, which help speed up time-to-market.

It’s not just about a certificate to GLI; it’s an ongoing relationship to help maintain compliance and ensure our clients remain proactive in that jurisdiction. Simply, we add a strategic pillar to your business.

When they approach the stand, not only will they get a lovely scent of freshly made coffee from our barista, but they will also get a warm welcome from the team and access to global experts with a vast amount of regulatory knowledge in over 480+ jurisdictions worldwide.

GLI's stand at ICE London last year.

Given ICE London’s status as one of the major global events in the industry, what are your expectations and objectives for the expo?

ICE is an important show for GLI, and we expect this year’s show to be back to pre-pandemic levels of exhibitors and delegates. We will have a strong presence from our EMEA team and our wider global team, including representatives from GLI companies Bulletproof and SIQ.

In the recent CEO letter from James Maida, he talked about the importance of real-time, face-to-face interactions and his view that business gets done better in person. That’s why shows like ICE are a key part of our ongoing commitment to have that personal interaction with our suppliers and operators no matter where they do business.

How would you describe the industry’s and your clients’ current demands at the time? What markets will you focus on at the expo?

At GLI, we are seeing a resurgence across land-based and continuing rapid growth in iGaming. The demand is greater year on year. GLI has been hiring like never before to ensure we can meet global demand. The gaming industry has grown exponentially, with iGaming markets coming to fruition.

The sales team has grown along with this, and we have structured the department to ensure we can support all clients globally. Within our delivery team, we recruited over 250 staff during 2022 to ensure we can maintain client commitments.

We don’t focus on specific markets. We are here to support clients across all regulated markets. We monitor developments in markets as they continue to evolve. There are discussions in Ireland about kickstarting iGaming and talks/implementation of new and changing regulations in Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands. It’s our job to ensure we can service our clients to the levels they expect of GLI.

GLI's stand at G2E last year.

What is your assessment of the company’s performance in 2022, and what should we expect from it in 2023? What new technologies and trends do you expect to gain momentum this year?

In 2022 we experienced a significant increase in demand, particularly from iGaming and start-ups, and we expect that to continue in 2023.

In terms of new technologies and trends, operators and developers are continually striving to create a game that is new for players, which inherently brings with it new software. There isn’t always regulation directly associated with these new game types, meaning changes are necessary and become more complex. It’s GLI’s role to provide guidance to ensure the rules are met.

It’s also a challenge for regulatory bodies as technology moves forward. Regulators adapt to correctly regulate games to ensure users have a fair and enjoyable experience – whilst being protected.

Last year, in November, the Argentine State Lottery Association and GLI created a new scholarship program for Argentine regulators. What does this partnership represent for GLI?

We worked with ALEA to create the GLI/ALEA scholarship to benefit students working to obtain the Technician in Management and Administration of Games of Chance degree, which is part of the Professionalization program of the association with the University of Salta in Argentina.

The scholarship is for the academic year of 2023, and the selection is in process and handled by ALEA and its Lottery members. We are proud to be a pioneer in this initiative as we firmly believe that investing in the continuous education of government professionals directly impacts and benefits the progress of our industry.

Since GLI first became involved in Argentina in 2003, partnerships such as this have been important to us. For example, our first partnership came in 2007 with the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), which created GLI South America. To this day, that partnership combines GLI’s extensive operating knowledge with UNLP’s deep technological capabilities.

We have been and remain committed to the growth of the gaming industry in Argentina, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Every day, we work closely with regulators and industry leaders throughout the region to help create a path of sustainable growth.