Game Testing
By Linda
Melbourne, Australia – March 1, 2002 – Independent testing agency BMM International has advised that internet gaming systems can be effectively tested and validated for security, fraud and the highest standards of industry regulation.

“Comprehensive measures are currently in place to allow thorough testing of internet gaming systems,” said Mr James Sargeant, Senior Consultant, BMM International Pty Ltd. “As long as we are able to pre-empt or respond to technology advances and work with the industry, we can offer a reliable certification of the various online gambling systems available.”

Mr Sargeant explained the requirement for compliance testing of internet gaming systems, and the wide range of issues that need to be considered, as part of an invitation to present at the annual meeting of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), held in London late January.

“Production servers, payment gateways, call centers, and a host of other operational mediums can be checked to ensure that they comply with relevant laws, standards and specific technical requirements of a jurisdiction,” he said. “It is important to bear in mind that the internet is only a transport mechanism and cannot be tested.”

The primary objective of subjecting an Internet gaming system to compliance testing is to establish whether it qualifies for approval by a jurisdiction that requires compliance to specific technical standards. Spin-off effects are often just as attractive.

“There are often dramatic improvements in system reliability and security, and additional trust marks can be added to the site for marketing purposes,” explained Mr Sargeant.

From the regulatory and operator perspective, audit controls can be used to identify unauthorized changes to the system, and verification tools can prove if a system has been modified by licensees. Clearly, full commitment to the compliance testing process must be forthcoming from all stakeholder groups – suppliers, operators, external testers, and the regulator.

“As the technology is moving so fast, innovations will appear that were not considered when the technical standards were drafted. The regulator, often after consultation with experts like BMM, will have to arbitrate on whether the innovation is acceptable, and whether or not some additional controls are required,” he said.

External testing often highlights problems which come about because of the hostile and uncontrolled nature of the real world internet.

For instance, developers typically use high-end workstations to develop the software and many suppliers test their software using similar high-end systems over high-speed networks. However, the systems that are used by players to play the games are not necessarily so powerful or pristine, and they are rarely connected with high speed/low delay links. Discrepancy in system configuration and performance will often cause a game that works well in the supplier’s laboratory to fail when it comes to real world testing.

Further, many of the systems submitted for testing have incomplete or incorrect documentation. This is not particularly surprising given the rapid development processes used by suppliers in order to get their product to the marketplace quickly.

“At the end of the day, the independent testing process aims to ensure that the online experience offered is fair, safe, secure, and entertaining, which is to everybody’s advantage”, summarized Mr. Sargeant.

A copy of the Powerpoint presentation for IAGR can be downloaded at www.bmm.com.au

BMM International (www.bmm.com.au), headquartered in Australia, is an independent testing agency that provides compliance certification, testing and consulting services. The company is focused on both the land-based and internet gaming markets, providing casino, lottery, sports betting and wagering systems testing, certification and analysis services.

BMM is the largest and most experienced Accredited Testing Facility in the Australasian market. The company is also the principal author of the Internet Gaming Technical Requirements Specifications that have been adopted by the Australian states to regulate internet gaming.

Its wholly owned subsidiary BMM North America is now offering BMM’s full range of services out of Las Vegas, NV, and North Haledon, NJ.

 
 
 
 
 
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