Macau-based R&D firm GameSource is looking to transform the global gaming industry ahead of the launch of its long-planned cloud based games platform onto Macau’s casino floors.
For a city whose casino floors are so heavily dominated by traditional table games, specifically baccarat, there is more than a modicum of irony in the fact that Macau could well be about to pave the way for the future of EGM and slots gaming.
Macau-born R&D firm GameSource is in the final stages of a four-year journey to transform the industry by developing a cloud-based gaming app store aimed at introducing imaginative new games content while providing operators with a quick and easy way to access them.
The GameSource platform, set to be fully unveiled at MGM’s Macau properties in the coming months, essentially opens up the market by acting as a central hub for everyone from game developers to casino operators and even regulators.
“GameSource is basically a gaming app store,” explains the company’s founder and Managing Director, Lam Iao.
“Upstream we allow the casino operators to use it and select a variety of games from our gaming library. Downstream we work with individuals like university students or slot content providers such as CreaTec, who have already signed with us, to develop and provide game content to us. It really opens the market for newcomers.”
The idea, from a developers’ perspective, is to remove barriers that may have previously prevented innovative game concepts from reaching casino floors by providing all the tools needed to create games in the GameSource platform. By creating their games using GameSource, developers have access to an array of compliance-approved modules such as RNGs, anti-money laundering safeguards and digital wallets among others all aimed at achieving regulatory compliance.
“The key word here is games,” says Lam, who was previously part of the pre-opening teams for both Wynn Macau and MGM Macau. “We have worked with BMM Test Labs for the past two years to modularize a set of highly compliant software libraries that allow any newcomer who wants to build a game but doesn’t know how to build a game for the casino, because of compliance and AML, to do so.
“If you are creative enough you can just use those components and build a game, which doesn’t necessarily mean slots. As long as you build a game using our software libraries then the chance of you being certified are above 95% because we built those components with BMM.”
On the operator side GameSource has put together a set of operation modules covering cage operations, slot operations, auditing and more, but most notable from a regulatory point of view is a built-in regulators module. The module, developed in consultation with Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, allows the regulator to monitor use of the GameSource platform and its games in real time.
“Our competitors out there are not real time – they always have latencies – so we are the first in the industry to provide real time facilities for regulators to monitor what’s going on,” Lam says.
The platform has already been patented in 10 jurisdictions although GameSource is primarily focussed on rolling out in four countries – including Vietnam, Cambodia and the United States – before expanding any further.
And of course Macau sits top of the tree with MGM having deployed a trial version last October allowing patrons to play for points. According to Lam, that trial has proved successful with the platform’s revenue mode expected to be switched on “in the next month or two” pending final approvals. Once up and running, its eco-system will be activated between the regulators, operators and developers.
“We have about 80 games right now in our library and MGM has selected seven or eight of them,” Lam explains. “Those are quite localized slot games for now but we have new games coming up that are not slots. It’s quite transformational.”
Lam also points to the strategic partnership with MGM China as being more than one of convenience.
“As a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Pansy Ho, it is a very unique company in the gaming world,” he elaborates “It has the highest compliance in the world because we not only need to comply with the Macau regulatory requirements, we also need to comply with Nevada regulatory requirements..
“The two toughest regulatory jurisdictions in the world are Macau and Nevada so if we can roll out here at MGM Macau we can also roll out in Nevada and everywhere else. Our plan has always been about taking the top-down approach to set the highest industry standard.
“We also have more than 80 team members working in our company and 99% of them are from Macau, so it is truly a Macau product made by Macau people setting a new standard for the Macau regulator and operators, with the goal of going global for other jurisdictions to follow.”