A Message From the President

Dear GSA Members,

The first three months of 2005 have seen some exciting changes for the Gaming Standards Association (GSA). At the December 2004 Board of Directors Strategic Planning Meeting, the Board made the decision to plan an interoperability event to demonstrate GSA's new standards at work!

Before GSA took on the task of demonstrating its standards however, it was important to talk to the membership about GSA's protocols. So, GSA took its standards on the road. Mark Pace of WMS Gaming, Russ Ristine of Ristine Associates, and I visited operators, regulators and manufacturers in a whirl wind tour of the East and West coasts. Our audience was impressed with the in-depth analysis of GSA's standards and development suites. The good news is that all are eager to see a rapid adoption. The visits also had a secondary benefit, GSA's Platinum membership (those member companies that agree to support at the highest membership level) has increased from 8 companies to 11.

In addition to GSA's Road Show, we started the year by educating our members about the BOB Development Suite and Standard, with our well-received 'BOB under the Hood' sessions. Due to the success of the training sessions, we have decided to continue them throughout the year, with sessions scheduled in Europe (Graz, Austria) and follow up sessions in North America. GSA is committed to providing a rigorous training program moving forward.

GSA has labeled 2005 the 'Year of Adoption.' As a result, we're determined to showcase our standards and those member companies planning to implement. The first opportunity to showcase our standards will be during the Gaming Technology Summit in May, where GSA will provide the keynote speakers.

Recently, on a dark winter day in February, I walked into a member company office and was pleased to have demonstrated to me a solution showing GSA's S2S Protocol talking between various systems that used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the member company's server. On someone's desk I noticed a manual marked, 'GSA S2S Implementation Guide'. They informed me that they are only a few weeks out from installing this solution into two properties in the US. It was a great feeling to see our standards being rolled out to the industry after so many years of hard work. The same company is also working on implementing other GSA standards. I walked out with a smile and strolled back through memory lane to the days when GSA started...

Personally, I'm sad to see Gregg Solomon step down as Chairman of the Board after so many years of successful collaboration. It's been a great privilege working with him. That being said, I am pleased to welcome Lyle Bell as our new Chairman and I am looking forward to working closely with him to ensure that GSA remains focused and continues to create true value for our members while we remain true to our mission statement.

I'm pleased to report that while difficult on our members, the recent dues increase has gained the support of the membership, as the funds continue to provide GSA with the ability to attract the 'best of the best' consultants and drive development forward. Note however that the Board of Directors has unanimously voted to put a moratorium on any dues increase moving forward. I want to thank the membership as a whole for your continuing support.

As I've said, the first three months of 2005 have seen some exciting changes for the GSA. The best is yet to come and I invite the whole industry to join us!

Kind regards,

Peter DeRaedt
GSA President


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