Cashless casino payment methods are few in number

by Ethan Anderson Last Updated
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The American Gaming Association has released a report that providers a framework for regulatory flexibility allowing digital payments on the casino floor.

Yogonet reports that according to the AGA, enabling payment choice allows casino customers the ability to supplement cash with safe and secure digital payment options on the casino floor.

This not only improves responsible gaming efforts by equipping customers with digital tools to help them monitor their gaming and set limits, but also provides operators, regulators and law enforcement increased transparency into matters of anti-money laundering and monitoring of financial transactions.

In early 2019, the AGA convened a working group of members to evaluate the regulatory, processing and consumer landscape related to expanding payment options on the casino floor.

The Payments Modernisation Policy Principles, the product of that collaborative effort, seek to educate state and tribal regulators who are considering expanding payment choice.

It included a number of points including the ability to equip customers with more tools to wager responsibly, give customers payment choice and convenience, ensure state laws enable a flexible regulatory approach and address heightened public health concerns.

Recent AGA research found that 59 per cent of past year casino visitors are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This translates to customer preferences on the casino floor, as 54 per cent indicate that would be very likely to utilise a digital or contactless payment option when they gamble.

Presently, a small number of casinos use such payments, which include debit or credit cards, as well as apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.

Industry seeks wider acceptance of digital or contactless payments

Wider acceptance of these options has long been a goal of the gambling industry.

“Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA,” the group’s president and chief executive Bill Miller said.

“It aligns with gaming’s role as a modern, 21st-century industry and bolsters our already rigorous regulatory and responsible gaming measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic made it all the more important to advance our efforts to provide customers with the payment choice they are more comfortable with and have increasingly come to expect in their daily lives.”

So far, there has not been widespread adaptation of digital payment options at casinos or other gambling facilities in the United States.

Industry executives say this is due to several factors including limits imposed by state legislators or gambling regulators.

A handful of casinos in Nevada and some tribal casinos across the United States have digital options, but the technology is a new concept in many places.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has a hearing scheduled for June 25 where it is expected to accept the state Gaming Control Board’s recommendation for amendments to state regulators that would streamline the approval and testing process for modern payment methods.

Director of the New Jersey division of gaming enforcement, David Rebuck, said cashless transactions are already legal, adding, “We await products to be submitted by the casinos for approval to use on-site.”

Nevada gambling operators said they are open to looking at new ways of how technology, including cashless wagering, can help attract new customers and be beneficial for not only the industry, but for responsible gaming measures as well.

The continued spread of the coronavirus in parts of the United States as many casinos reopen after months of being idled is another reason the industry wants to ramp up cashless payments quickly.

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