Gaming technologies include a full constellation of slot machines, board game accessories, control information systems and assistive technologies used in casinos, gaming parlours and other premises, lottery devices and systems, systems and associated Internet and mobile device games, and sports betting, organized in bookmakers, at special terminals or online and through mobile devices.
In order to test gaming technologies, this diversified and multidisciplinary industry requires multidisciplinary knowledge – of electronics, mathematics, statistics and various programming languages – and knowledge of development environments, operating systems, server and network architectures, database tools, various types of computer communications, Internet environments and systems, information security and more. It is therefore not surprising that the activity of testing gaming technologies developed from metrology, which requires, in addition to physical, in-depth mathematical and statistical knowledge, knowledge of electronics and programming. A team of engineers from various fields soon developed at SIQ, combining all the necessary knowledge, and successfully testing all types of gaming technologies for markets on five continents.
The key role in the development of the activity was played by the wide range of services provided by SIQ. From the very beginning, we were able to offer electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility testing of gaming devices and we are still the only gaming laboratory to offer this service, and the only certification body and testing laboratory in the field of electrical safety and EMC, which also has a comprehensive gaming laboratory registered globally. More importantly, we also provide electrical safety services for the North American markets, and we have been registered with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for testing electromagnetic interference for more than a decade. In testing certain gaming devices with a partly mechanical construction that affects the outcome of the game, we take advantage of our experience and knowledge in the field of metrology.
With the development of online and mobile device gambling, where the operator or manufacturer manage all the technological elements of gambling to a lesser extent, the development of regulation has gone further in the direction of systematic process management control, especially in terms of information security.
Although for the most part, only the compliance with some key elements of the standards is required, e.g., ISO 27001, the requirements for actual certification are also becoming more frequent. Here, being a management system certification body, SIQ has a unique position among gaming laboratories as it can carry out all types of audits and comprehensive certification.
Gambling via the Internet and mobile devices represents an increasing share in the offer and is thus increasingly sensitive to various cyber attacks and intrusions, which is increasingly regulated by the relevant regulations. Six years ago, SIQ developed an information technology assessment department that performs intrusion tests, system vulnerability checks, etc. with top experts, not only in connection with gaming technologies, but also for database managers, banks, telecommunications and energy systems, and the retail chain. In this aspect too, we are the only gaming laboratory in the world to have developed this service in-house.
In addition to fair play, which we ensure through technical analysis and management system audits, it is becoming a priority for an increasing number of regulators to ensure responsible gambling in order to avoid the social costs of addiction. The European Lotteries Association developed and adopted the relevant standards a decade ago, and SIQ carried out the first audit in 2011. Knowledge of gaming technologies and management systems assessment processes was crucial. Since then, we have checked five different lotteries in the region.
Our comprehensive service (“one-stop solution”), provided by SIQ as the only independent gaming laboratory in the world, is not our only competitive advantage. In addition to fixed and transparent prices without hidden costs, responsiveness, and the speed with which the product can be placed on the market, our key advantages are professional, technically trained staff with an understanding of the customer, product and target market, as well as the status of a not-for-profit institution, which in itself ensures the highest degree of independence.