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G2S – Why Should I Care?

There’s been much talk in the last few years about server-based gaming and G2S (the new web-based Game To System messaging protocol from the Gaming Standards Association), but most folks out there are wondering why they should pay more than a couple of seconds attention to this new phenomenon. Fifteen years ago, folks were saying the same thing about the World Wide Web – Why should we care?

In short, G2S moves your casino from a closed-system world (where you can only get new applications from your system provider) to an open network, where anyone can write an application that lets you have all sorts of amazing new interactions with your players. The applications taking the lead these days are remote game configuration and downloading new code to run on your gaming machines. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Much like e-mail and file sharing were the tip of the iceberg for the Internet – and now look where we are!

As you (and your slot floor) move into this new world, it is critical that you are an intelligent consumer – making sure that the solution you implement (or is installed for you) can take advantage of future applications. I suspect there may be some pressure from your current solution providers to make sure you don’t go shopping around for solutions from just anybody. This might cause your casino to become as flexible and innovative as (gasp!) the Internet.

So, what do you do? Concede that your current solution providers are the best at what they are doing now – the highly regulated, incredibly important applications that are the bread and butter of your casino – and let them know they will continue to be an important part of your future. But, imagine going to a gaming show, seeing a cool new application that might be just perfect for your players, and then having it up and running a month or so later. And, if it’s not quite right, having the vendor iteratively update their application until it’s just perfect for your players. In the G2S world, a gaming machine (EGM) can talk directly to multiple servers at the same time! This means that your current system provider can continue to do what they do best (all of the important stuff), while your EGMs also talk to other applications that are not as highly regulated (since they are just “marketing” apps).

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring various aspects of networked gaming, and ways that you can prepare yourself and your slot floor for future innovation. In addition, I would be happy to explore specific networked gaming topics that interest you. So, what you would you like to talk about?

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