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CLEAR SKIES AHEAD: Martin Storm

CEO and Owner, BMM International

CLEAR SKIES AHEAD: Martin Storm

This is not the first rodeo for Martin Storm. He had successfully developed and sold several technology companies and was comfortably semi-retired in Australia when the owners of BMM Compliance asked him to come in and advise them on their company. Storm’s recommendations made so much sense, they made him CEO. And Storm was so intrigued by the company that he bought a big piece of equity, later picking up the remainder of the company.

He explains what made him consider gaming.

“It was clearly an industry in development in that it was full of contrasts: local and global, large and small, mature and immature, in so many different ways. It is still in its adolescence, from a technology and overall regulatory perspective. We have many years of transformation ahead of us. I wanted to participate in an industry that was relatively small so that you could get to know people all over the world.”

BMM’s worldwide focus was evident. Strong in Australia (its founders were all Australians), the opportunity in growth was in the U.S., which caused Storm to relocate company headquarters to Las Vegas in 2005. The move paid off when BMM was chosen in 2012 as one of two test labs serving the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

“By its very nature, the gaming industry needs competition, and more so than ever in gaming test labs,” Storm says.

Working with regulators is the bread-and-butter of all test labs. Storm says his relationship with regulators is directly related to his staff.

“We have dedicated compliance engineers and management around the world who provide not only technical communication and guidance with regulators, but also ex-regulatory staff that provide regulatory education, support and guidance,” he says. “Technology is moving so rapidly in the gaming industry that we are often a sounding board and a bridge between all parties. Ultimately, we are there to ensure that all parties are best served in the process of product certification.”

He says his company grew 30 percent larger in 2012, and he expects that growth to continue in 2013 and beyond.

“More legal gaming markets are opening, more manufacturers and suppliers are coming into the market, investment is increasing again after the great financial collapse, and the consumers are returning,” he says. “In that context, BMM continues to expand its reach globally, its teams globally and its services globally. And when a customer uses BMM as a lab, they are generally delighted with the service and our approach. And importantly, BMM is a choice for customers. That can’t always be said with labs in some markets.”

Online gaming is also an opportunity for BMM, says Storm.

“We were the first lab in the U.S. to provide online gaming testing beginning internationally in the late 1990s,” he explains. “We have extraordinary experience in i-gaming systems. U.S. regulators came to us last year because they wanted more information on the i-gaming business model and how it really works, and what that model meant for regulations, products and operations. So we created workshops on i-gaming for U.S. regulators that have been fully attended events, and the attendee feedback was outstanding.”

Storm sees nothing but growth ahead.

“When I purchased BMM, it was a growth opportunity,” he says. “Now it’s a growth story and a growth strategy. BMM has enjoyed global expansion and an average 25 percent year-on-year growth rate for a decade now, with no end in sight. In fact, with our completion of U.S. licensing and accreditations in 2013, we expect to place our ‘toes to the start line’ for our real business growth.”

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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