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Howard Stutz

Ohio could give Las Vegas gaming company a boost

14 February 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The opportunity to test and certify gaming equipment destined for the up-and-coming Ohio casino market could give a boost to Las Vegas-based laboratory BMM Compliance.

The company was certified in January by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which authorizes BMM to test and evaluate slot machines, electronic table games, gaming-related systems and other ancillary gaming equipment for compliance with the regulations and technical standards set by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Ohio could soon become quite busy.

Four full-scale casino projects are in development in Ohio's four largest cities. Caesars Entertainment Corp. is 50-50 partners with Ohio-based Rock Gaming on the $400 million Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and the $600 million Horseshoe Casino Cleveland.

When you add in Penn National Gaming's two Hollywood Casinos in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio casinos will house almost 9,000 slot machines by 2014.

In addition, state officials are still debating the process that would allow seven racetracks throughout Ohio to add casinos with slot-machinelike video lottery terminals, which could total up to 17,500 new machines.

For BMM Chief Executive Officer Martin Storm, gaining licensing approval is a significant step for the company.

BMM competes with industry giant Gaming Laboratories International for testing and certification opportunities around the globe. As of last fall, BMM was working toward 14 new license approvals in countries, individual U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and with American Indian tribes.

"We're 95 percent of the way there," Storm said last fall. "We know the manufacturers will give us 50 percent of the work once we have all our certifications."

Storm said the gaming certification market is a "$40 million-a-year business."

BMM has 12 offices in 11 countries. Storm moved his corporate offices to Las Vegas in 2006 to be closer to the headquarters of the gaming industry's major manufacturing companies. The company has more than 350 gaming licenses and recognitions globally.

BMM employs 170 people worldwide and 50 in Las Vegas, where engineers test and certify games for all major slot machine developers.

Ohio, with its quickly expanding gaming market, will provide additional opportunity for BMM.

"This is a big deal because the Ohio Casino Control Commission, like commissions in other states, is recognizing the importance of test lab competition for the integrity and efficient operation of its gaming market," Storm said. "It's a credit to their leadership. They've accomplished an enormous amount of work in a short period of time to get ready for gaming in Ohio."

A large piece of new business for BMM could come from the state of Nevada, where the Gaming Control Board will begin outsourcing equipment testing rather than having the agency's own lab handle the process. Storm said BMM is applying for a Nevada gaming license.

BMM hired 15 engineers and support staff in the first half of 2011. Beyond Ohio, casino expansion in Massachusetts could enable BMM to employ another 120 engineers and managers, with many of the jobs landing in Las Vegas, Storm said.
Ohio could give Las Vegas gaming company a boost is republished from