he Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians made history on Thursday, August 31, 2018, as the new sports book at their Pearl River Resort became the first tribal sports book in the U.S. to open with a system that is fully certified as compliant with Gaming Laboratories International’s (GLI) landmark GLI-33 Event-Wagering Technical Standard.
At the request of the Choctaw Gaming Commission, GLI assisted the Commission’s technical and auditing staffs with on-site support to verify the internal controls and installation configuration of IGT’s Margin-Maker event-wagering system to GLI-33 standards. This helped ensure a flawless go-live of the sports book’s system from the moment the first wager was placed.
Additionally, sports-wagering experts from GLI University provided two and a half days of on-site classroom-style training on the various aspects of sports wagering, from a technical, regulatory, and operational perspective.
“The Choctaw Gaming Commission took a very pragmatic approach to sports wagering,” stated Mackenzie Haugh, GLI’s Director of Engineering. “They first ensured that their commissioners, auditors, and technical staff were familiar with the many aspects of sports wagering such as events and the various types of bets, trading platforms and live feeds, reporting and auditing, and change management to name a few. This allowed them to take an educated, risk-based approach in selecting which aspects of their system should be regulated and audited while to not stifle the needs of operations on such an organic system. And through GLI University training and on-site technical teams leading up to go-live, GLI was happy and excited to help.”
GLI dedicated a team of experts to developing GLI-33 as the industry’s first event-wagering technical standard, and that working group spent approximately a year formulating GLI-33. The need for the standard became apparent after GLI received numerous requests from U.S. state regulators, sports betting operators, sovereign tribal nations, lotteries, and industry suppliers around the world to establish a clear and cohesive technical standard for sports/event wagering systems. The desire was to establish a standard to help them regulate and/or implement legal wagering on sports and other events.
Upon the official release of GLI-33, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was one of several regulatory bodies to immediately adopt the new standard. Prior to the release of GLI-33, which is part of the GLI Standards Series, a draft standard had undergone extensive industry review and comment from gaming and lottery regulators, industry suppliers, industry operators and industry trade associations.
Mississippi followed Delaware and New Jersey as the third state to legalize and launch sports betting after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA); allowing for the expansion of sports-wagering opportunities throughout the country.