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Entering the Unknown

Rachel Barber, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Gaming, IGT

Rachel Barber has lived her favorite life lesson.

Long before she’d become head of technology for the gaming division of IGT, a position she’s held since 2015, Barber embarked on a unique path.

“Over 25 years ago, a mentor shared a quote with me from Guy Kawasaki, and he said, ‘Challenge the known and embrace the unknown,’” she recalls. “I have lived by this rule for my entire career, and it has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take chances. I believe that my confidence in taking risks has paved the way for success.”

The fearless philosophy took the Portsmouth, Rhode Island native to the latest stop in this journey, the awards realm. Barber has climbed the ladder of quality industry professionals facing and conquering all the technology challenges that lay in her path.

In her latest challenge, IGT will continue its cashless rollout in 2023, among other objectives.

“We believe that we have the strongest cashless gaming offering in the market, and we look forward to providing this exciting innovation to more and more casino customers who continue to express substantial interest,” Barber asserts. “For example, recently, IGT agreed to a multi-year partnership with Station Casinos to supply our Resort Wallet and IGTPay cashless gaming solutions to Station’s six primary Las Vegas properties.

“We look forward to building more partnerships like this in the future. I am also very passionate about deploying more cloud-based solutions and identifying unique solutions that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide meaningful insights and opportunities for players and operators.”

At IGT, Barber leads a global team focused on strategic initiatives related to technology, product innovation and R&D. In any given year, the team manages several hundred projects that span across application modernization, new hardware deployments like the award-winning PeakBarTop with sports betting, and new systems products such as FloorNet and AVENTO.

Barber considers leading the company’s technology experts and engineers one of her highest achievements. The group has enabled IGT to make tremendous strides in cashless gaming, including the award-winning Resort Wallet, a part of IGT’s Advantage casino management solutions portfolio.

“IGT has advanced innovation across our entire product and solutions line, and we were able to share that with customers from all over the world at G2E,” she says. “For example, our flagship cashless wagering solution, Resort Wallet, can be complemented with the IGTPay module to enable external account funding from a range of sources, such as bank and credit accounts. This is a meaningful advancement, as it propels the player experience and creates operational efficiencies for our customers.”

Barber believes that the player and casino operator interest in cashless, as well as the ability to advance the player experience by leveraging big data, are exciting new trends in the gaming industry.

She will be happy to embrace it, as a team-driven leader, just like her mentor suggested.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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